Vets warn dog-owners that dressing their pets in coats, hats and SHOES is bad for their skin

Barking mad?: Canine clothes can cause an increase in skin complaints

While the sight of a dog dressed up in designer clobber may be a cute one, vets are warning it’s not safe.

Even the fanciest of fabric against a mutt’s fur can cause irritation, and pet-care professionals say dog clothes are leading to a rise in skin complaints.

Direct Line Pet Insurance quizzed 23 vets on their concerns about canine clothes, and nearly a third (32 per cent) said they were worried that dressing up dogs can lead to uncomfortable rubbing against their skin.

27 per cent said that the use of coats can lead to stress, while 23 per cent were worried about pups overheating.

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The survey says that atopic dermatitis, an inflammation of the skin that can be caused by allergic reactions, is the most common canine complaint seen by vets.

Ear infection, otitis, and flea allergies were the next most common issues.

Dog-owners mostly come at the dog clothing from a good place, with 53 per cent saying they want to keep their pooch warm, while 78 per cent say they reach for the mini-outfits out of worry that their pet will get wet.

Vets say they needn’t fret, however – dogs are fast-drying animals and rain is unlikely to do them any harm.

A dog’s life: Seven per cent of owners quizzed admitted their dogs owned hats and shoes (REX/Shutterstock)


However, 10 per cent admitted they opted for pet clothes because they liked the way they looked while seven per cent admitted that, yes, they do see their furry friend as a fashion accessory.

And Seven per cent of those surveyed confessed that their dog’s wardrobe includes hats and shoes.

Dr Andrew Francis, Chief Operations Officer at Pawsquad, the veterinary advice service that launched the survey said: “Owners should be mindful that sometimes putting their dogs in clothing can cause skin damage, as the added materials can irritate a dog’s skin.

“Skin disease is the most common reason for people seeking an online veterinary consultation and, while easily treated, can cause problems if left for a long period of time.

“If any owner is concerned their dog may be suffering from skin disease they should speak to a vet.”