Owners of dogs, particularly small dogs, have enjoyed dressing them up for years. In some cases the practice is done to ensure the dog's comfort in inclement weather. In other cases, it is more of hobby and the little dogs become fashionistas in their own right. No matter what the reason you have for dressing your canine in dog clothes, there are some guidelines you should follow.

Comfort

Dog clothes, whether meant as protective garments or as fashion statements, should be comfortable for the dog. The clothes should not restrict movement in any way. Clothes that are too snug can hinder breathing. They are also binding and your pet will try to remove them by wriggling, scratching and chewing if necessary.

Loose clothing can also be problematic. Garments that hang loosely can allow the dogs legs to come out of sleeves or leg holes. They can become tangled, causing them to fall or get hurt. It is possible the garment could shift enough that the animal could be strangled either by the clothes themselves or when the clothes become caught on something else and the frantic animal tries to get loose.

Some dog clothes today are quite elaborate. These outfits are fine as long as the pooch's movements aren't restricted and he doesn't become a bull in a china shop, knocking things over as he struts his stuff. Obviously, a dog needs to be a dog. Make sure the outfit fits in such a way as to not impede his ability to answer Mother Nature's call.

Thicker coated dogs may become overheated if the clothing is heavy or thick. Make sure to take dog's nature into account before choosing his wardrobe.

Safety

Years ago dog clothes were limited to simple coats or sweaters. These are still popular, especially in climates with extreme cold. Dogs with thin coats or that aren't found naturally in these climates might benefit greatly from the added safety a coat or sweater provides. Your pet can even take advantage of footwear to protect his pads when out for his constitutional walks.

Nighttime walks can be more dangerous. Cars, bicycles and joggers often travel in some of the same places, competing for space. Reflective markers on the dog clothes can make your pet more visible to the world around him at night and protect him from an injury or collision.

In some instances, doggie life preserves may be necessary. If your pet is travelling with you on any type of boat, this option could be a real life saver.

When shopping for dog clothes check out the Doggie Clothesline where you will find all sorts of clothing and accessories for your favorite canine.