Few things look more adorable than a dog dressed in boots, a sweater and a pom-pom hat, or a dog in a cute or clever costume for Halloween. But there are many reasons to dress your dog besides how precious he or she will look in a fashionable ensemble!

• Some dogs, particularly small breeds, feel the cold more acutely than most people realize. And small dogs tend to get cold faster than larger breeds. A sweater or coat on a cold day can make outdoor time more pleasant for your pet. If you’re shivering in the cold, chances are your dog feels it, too.

• Raincoats aren't just fashionable springtime wear, they protect your dog. Animal fur does protect dogs against water, but it can only protect them so much. Once the dog’s fur gets wet enough to soak through to the skin, the dog can grow cold more quickly than if his or her skin stayed dry. Short-haired breeds are more susceptible to rain and wet conditions than long-haired dogs.

• Snow and ice can damage a dog's pads, so dog boots, while cute, do more than make people giggle. They protect your dog’s feet from the harsh elements. Dogs that walk and run over rugged terrain, like dogs used for hunting or tracking, can benefit from rugged boots designed for rough landscapes. Even the tiniest dogs can be made more comfortable with boots, especially in the winter when it’s necessary to walk on ice, snow and salt. Cracked pads are painful, but prevention in the form of boots can save your doggie’s paws.

• Dogs can sunburn, too. Clothing, whether light garments in the summer or warm coats in the winter, protect your dog from the sun. Dogs with light hair and pink skin are especially sensitive to the sun’s rays, just as we are. You’ve got another reason to dress your pooch in that sassy T-shirt for a day at the park—sun protection! And consider putting sunscreen on your dog’s ears, nose and stomach if you’re planning much time in the sun. Your vet can recommend a brand that will work well on your dog.

Before you write off the idea of dog clothing as something cutesy and unnecessary, consider how you feel when you go from a nice warm house to the cold outdoors. If your dog lives indoors with you, your pet is used to the same toasty, warm environment. You wouldn’t go outside in mid-winter for any length of time wearing only your regular clothes and a pair of thin slippers! So, bundle up your pup against the weather, and make sure outside time is comfortable and fun.

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Author's Bio: 

Hello, my name is Dawn. I started My Pet Haven along with Healthy Pet Net products because I love pets, and I want to do everything in my power to help other pets to be as happy and as healthy as possible.