Pet insurance industry experts are warning that the latest fashion to clothe dogs could lead to higher pet insurance premiums as treatments increase for skin complaints.
The trend to put dogs in human clothes is causing increased bouts of skin damage.
This is backed up by a recent research report from a leading pet insurance company which said that a staggering 80% of dog owners are actually dressing their canine loved ones in coats and jumpers.
Yet vets are confirming that dogs should not be dressed like humans, even if owners say that most of the time they are just protecting their dogs against the cold winter weather.
But even those owners who say that its done to keep out the cold, the report found that 10% do it because it looks good and 7% openly admitted doing it as a fashion statement.
Dogs are not suited to clothes which can cause irritable skin complaints due to the material rubbing against the animal’s coat, stress and overheating. Common dog skin complaints are atopic dermatitis and otitis, which is an inflammatory disease in the ear.
These conditions are most commonly treated with steroid creams. Some dogs also need to be given hypoallergenic foods.
Vets believe that rarely do dogs require layers of clothing to keep out the cold. They are physically designed to cope with varying degrees of temperature change and can adapt quickly to external conditions.
A vet, who did not wish to be named, told Bestmoneysaver.co.uk: “Most owners do try and do the best for their dogs, but some are guilty of thinking of their dogs as almost human. That is a mistake. Most dogs can survive the harshest conditions without human clothing and have an inbred ability to survive. By dressing their dogs in human clothes, owners can be doing more harm than good and this is becoming apparent in our practice as we see more and more dogs brought in, some with quite serious skin complaints.”