Open Letter to Developers of Dog Clothes

Dog Clothes

Dear Whoever Designs Dog Clothes,

Though I am sure there are some of you out there with the dogs’ interests at heart—and the ability to translate that into decent gear—I don’t have the time to research each and every canine clothing designer, so all of you should read this. Once you do, you’ll know if I’m talking to you. And if I’m talking to you, don’t ignore me. This is all for the good of man’s best friend.

I believe I ought to discredit my critics in advance. Yes I have a dog, but this is not about his specific experiences. This letter is based on my interactions with a variety of pooches. In fact, my dog doesn’t even wear clothes. My special guy has that certain combination of machismo and underfur that makes him impervious to the cold. Salted sidewalks might defeat him on occasion, but generally he’s just fine—a wild man, real outdoorsy type. So again, to the critics: this is not a letter about my own dog’s needs masked as those of the masses. Rather, this letter is written for all, in spite of my exemption.

With that done, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. We’ll begin with jackets and then move on to shoes.

Which one of you decided a good dog jacket could button underneath? Dogs love wearing jackets so much, we should make them extra fun by putting the closure where it can only be reached in the most precarious way. Let’s, here and now, decide on the standard: if the material is stretchy, it can be an overhead deal; if the material is not stretchy, say an adorable recreation of your own puffy jacket, then it must have a back zipper. A back zipper allows for easy access, it won’t easily pop open, and you don’t have to get your fingers all gucky from whatever’s been slopping up on the dog’s belly. We could all do without a salty undercarriage, but I’m reasonable enough to know that’s not going to happen. Just don’t make me touch it.

Any jacket I’ve seen also happens to leave the dog’s legs exposed. I understand we can’t take a cue from the prospectors and design a full body dog suit with butt flap, that’s just ridiculous. But what about a matching jacket and leg warmer set? How am I the first person to think of this? I would also like to point out that one size does not fit all. There are chubby corgis and svelte labs—can we please get some husky and petite options?

Now for the dreaded dog booties. Pups shouldn’t have to go tiptoeing around in slush or getting stung by salt. Unfortunately, most protective footwear falls off almost immediately. The only shoes that don’t are actually just heavy-duty balloons. Again, genius design job, people. It takes two hands to spread the opening apart, so what am I supposed to use to guide Spot’s foot into it? My shoulder? No dog is a willing participant in the great put on—we couldn’t get a zipper on there to make it easier for everyone? Also, a thin layer of rubber doesn’t exactly protect a paw against cold. As soon as that zipper situation is figured out, please try getting some fuzzy lining. Someone, somewhere figured out how to make shoes that look like the human foot, could we get that man or woman to work their magic a second time? I don’t care how creepy they end up looking.

I guess that’s all I’ve got for now, but when I think of more I’ll let you know.






  • Jayme Stepp

    I’m not sure who makes them, but there are like this dog life jackets with handles on them to pic up your dogs and I’ve seem more than many people just carrying their dogs by the handles, like “Hey, this is my dog which I am completely Doggie-De-Masculating”

    • Gregory Mason

      As long as the owner is not wearing a matching life jacket, it’s cool in my book.