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Article: Dog Clothes for Summer: Yay or Nay? Expert Insights

Dog Clothes for Summer: Yay or Nay? Expert Insights

Dog Clothes for Summer: Yay or Nay? Expert Insights

Summer is a season of fun and sunshine, but the rising temperatures can pose significant risks to our beloved canine companions. Just as we adjust our wardrobes to stay comfortable during the warmer months, it's essential to do the same for our dogs. Dog clothes aren't merely a fashion statement; they are vital to their well-being and safety.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the dangers of heatwaves for dogs, the importance of protective clothing beyond just temperature, expert insights on dog summer clothing, practical tips to keep your dog cool and safe, and finally, must-have items for a versatile summer wardrobe from Ginger and Bear.

Stay tuned to learn how to keep your furry friend cool, comfortable, and stylish this summer!

Dangers of Heat Waves for Dogs

The scorching heat of summer can be especially perilous for our canine friends. Understanding the risks and recognizing the signs of heat-related illnesses is crucial for their safety and well-being.

Heatstroke Risks and Symptoms:

Unlike humans, dogs cannot sweat efficiently. They rely on panting and cooling through their paw pads to regulate their body temperature. Watch out for the following symptoms, which can escalate quickly:

  • Purple gums
  • Collapse
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive panting
  • Dribbling

If you suspect your dog is suffering from heatstroke, it's crucial to act quickly:

  • Move your dog to a shaded or air-conditioned area.
  • Wet their coats with tepid water to help cool them down.
  • Contact your veterinarian immediately for further guidance and treatment.

Optimal Temperature Guidelines for Dogs

A. Suitable Up to 20°C: Most dogs can comfortably handle temperatures up to 20°C. However, monitoring their behaviour and looking out for signs of discomfort is essential.

B. Risks Increase Over 20°C: As temperatures rise above 20°C, the risk of heat-related illnesses, especially during exercise, significantly increases.

C. Special Considerations: Some dogs are more susceptible to heat-related issues.

a. Elderly Dogs: Older dogs may have difficulty regulating their body temperature.

b. Brachycephalic Breeds: Dogs with short noses, like Bulldogs and Pugs, are more prone to heatstroke due to their anatomical structure.

c. Overweight Dogs: Extra layers of fat can inhibit a dog's ability to cool down, making them more susceptible to heat-related illnesses.

Awareness of these risks and taking appropriate precautions can help keep your furry friend safe and comfortable during summer.

Importance of Dog Clothes Beyond Temperature

Protective clothing for dogs during the summer is not just about shielding them from the heat. It plays a vital role in ensuring their overall well-being and safety. Let's delve into the multifaceted benefits of dressing your dog appropriately for the summer season.

1. Keeping Your Dog Cool

Especially in regions with hotter climates, like Singapore, the early morning or late evening can be the best time to take your dog for walks. In SG, evenings are cooler but not cool enough to necessitate dressing your dog. However, it might be appropriate to consider light clothing for your pet in countries with more significant temperature drops during the evening. Always be mindful of the temperature and how your pet copes with the heat.

Additionally, specialised cooling vests and t-shirts made from breathable materials help regulate your dog's body temperature, reducing the risk of heatstroke. Wetting these garments can enhance their cooling effect, providing relief during hot days.

2. Protection from Allergens, Irritants, and Pests

Summer brings a surge in outdoor activities but also increases exposure to allergens, irritants, and pests like fleas and ticks. Protective clothing serves as a barrier, reducing direct contact with these potential hazards.

3. Added Visibility and Safety

Evening walks and crowded areas can pose safety risks for dogs. Brightly coloured or reflective clothing enhances visibility, making it easier for drivers and pedestrians to spot your dog, reducing the risk of accidents.

4. UV Protection

Like humans, dogs can suffer from sunburn and risk developing skin cancer, especially those with light-coloured or thin coats. UV-protective clothing offers an additional layer of defence against harmful sun rays.

5. Protecting Skin from Conditions, Wounds, and Harness Chafing

Dogs with skin conditions, wounds, or post-surgery incisions can benefit from wearing protective clothing to prevent scratching or further injury. For dogs that wear harnesses, a lightweight t-shirt worn underneath can reduce chafing and ensure maximum comfort during walks and outdoor activities.

By investing in a well-thought-out summer wardrobe for your dog, you're prioritising their comfort, safeguarding their health, and ensuring their safety in various outdoor settings.

How to Keep Dogs Cool and Safe in Hot Weather

As temperatures soar during the summer, we must implement strategies to keep our canine companions cool and safe amidst the heatwave. Here are some practical tips to ensure your furry friend remains comfortable and protected:

1. Ensure your dog has access to clean, fresh water at all times. Hydration is key to regulating body temperature and preventing dehydration. Consider adding ice cubes to their water bowl to keep it refreshingly cold throughout the day.
2. Treat your dog to delicious cooling treats like frozen fruits or homemade ice licks. These tasty delights relieve the heat and offer a refreshing snack for your furry friend to enjoy.
3. Avoid strenuous activities during the hottest part of the day to prevent overheating and exhaustion.
4. Be mindful of hot pavements, which can quickly heat up and burn your dog's sensitive paw pads. Opt for grassy areas or shaded paths for walks, and consider protective booties to shield their paws from the scorching ground.
5. Set up fans or provide access to shaded areas where your dog can seek refuge from the sun's intense rays. Additionally, regular grooming helps remove excess fur and promotes airflow, aiding in temperature regulation.
6. Wetting your dog's t-shirts or cooling vests can provide instant relief from the heat. These damp garments help lower body temperature and keep your furry friend cool and comfortable during outdoor adventures.

Implementing these simple yet effective strategies ensures your dog stays cool, safe, and happy throughout the sweltering summer days. Prioritising their well-being and comfort is paramount in safeguarding them against the adverse effects of hot weather.

Expert Insights on Dog Summer Clothing

It's imperative to heed the advice of veterinarians and pet experts who offer valuable insights into the risks associated with hot weather and the importance of protective gear for our furry companions.

AKC Pet Insurance

According to AKC Pet Insurance, UV-blocking sunshirts are essential in keeping dogs cool and protected from the sun's harmful rays. This is particularly vital for breeds with thin or light-coloured coats and dogs that spend extensive time outdoors. Opt for sun shirts with a UPF50+ to ensure comprehensive sun protection for your beloved pet.

Nature’s Recipe

Nature’s Recipe emphasises the misconception surrounding dog hair's ability to provide adequate UV protection. Contrary to popular belief, dog hair offers minimal defence against UV rays. For dogs spending prolonged periods under the sun, such as beach days or hikes, lightweight t-shirts or protective body suits are recommended. These specialised garments shield your dog from harmful UV rays and keep them cool and comfortable for hours of outdoor play.

American Kennel Club (AKC)

The American Kennel Club suggests an alternative to sunscreen application—protective clothing. Sun shirts or suits designed for dogs cover large areas of their bodies, offering comprehensive protection against UVA and UVB rays. Investing in such attire alleviates concerns about your dog licking off sunscreen and ensures effective sun protection during outdoor adventures.

These expert insights underscore the significance of UV protection for dogs, especially those with short, light-coloured coats or fine hair. Opting for specialised clothing tailored to your dog's needs, you prioritise their well-being and enhance their comfort and style during summertime escapades.


Building Your Dog's Summer Wardrobe

Summer brings joy and warmth, but it also brings challenges for our furry companions. Just like humans, dogs have different needs for summer clothing. Here's a comprehensive guide to help you build a summer wardrobe tailored to your pup's specific needs:

Breed Considerations:

Different breeds have different needs, especially when it comes to sun protection and heat management:

A. Dogs with thinner or lighter-coloured coats and hairless dogs: These breeds are more susceptible to sunburn due to their limited natural protection from UV rays. Opt for clothing that provides adequate UV protection to shield them from the sun's harmful rays.

B. Dogs with thick fur: Breeds with dense or thick fur can easily overheat. Lightweight, breathable fabrics that allow for air circulation can help keep them cool and comfortable.

Size Adaptation:

A proper fit is essential for your dog's comfort and safety:

1. Too tight clothing can restrict movement and cause discomfort. Loose-fitting attire can lead to tripping or tangling. The clothing should fit snugly but comfortably, allowing your dog to move freely.
2. If you have a growing puppy or a dog with a unique body shape, consider clothing with adjustable straps or fastenings to ensure a perfect fit at all times.

Activity Level Assessment

Your dog's activity level can influence the type of clothing they need. If your dog is active and loves outdoor adventures, moisture-wicking fabrics are a great choice. These materials remove moisture from the body, keeping your dog dry and comfortable during playtime or walks.

Must-have Items for a Versatile Summer Wardrobe from Ginger and Bear

The Ruffwear Cooling Dog Vest: Swamp Cooler Zip is designed to efficiently cool dogs during high-intensity adventures through shading and evaporative cooling. This vest has a lightweight spandex back for shade, UPF 50+ protection, and Ruffwear’s Swamp Cooler™ technology in the chest panel, dispersing heat from the dog’s core. Simply soak it in water, zip it on your dog, and head out to activate the cooling effect. Updated with new materials for better water retention and longer cooling, it offers a formfitting vest style with oversized armholes for a full range of motion.

The Sun Shield Tee in Blue Fern offers your pet top-notch protection from harmful UV rays. Crafted with UPF-50 rated fabric, this limited edition tee blocks 98% of UV rays without chemical treatments. Not only is it ultra-comfortable, but it's also versatile and suitable for various practical applications beyond just sun protection. Tested for heat absorption reduction, this tee ensures your pet remains cool and comfortable even in warm weather conditions.


Like its Blue Fern counterpart, the Grey Heather Sun Shield Tee boasts UPF-50 rated protection against UV rays. Made from a soft, lightweight stretch jersey, it offers indoor comfort and is perfect for outdoor wear. Its versatility shines as it can be used for various applications such as skin conditions, wound care, and even anxiety relief. Additionally, it's tested for heat reduction, providing added comfort during your pet's summer activities.


This Butterfly Lovers Dog T-Shirt embodies softness, lightweight, and stretchiness, making it ideal for warm climates and active pets. It combines functionality with aesthetics and is designed with a convenient harness access on the back. The charming butterfly design on a peach-coloured base adds a delightful touch to your pet's summer wardrobe.


Effortlessly blending style and comfort, the Contrast Striped Dog T-Shirt is made from breathable, stretchable cotton, making it a perfect fit for Singapore's climate. It features a classic contrast-striped design, offering a timeless appeal while ensuring your pet remains poised and comfortable.

The Diagonal Stripe Dog T-Shirt is crafted from breathable, stretchable cotton, making it ideal for warm weather. Its unique diagonal stripe design offers a refreshing take on doggy fashion, ensuring your pet remains comfortable and stylish during neighbourhood walks and outdoor adventures.

Ensure your dog stays cool during warm-weather explorations with the Ruffwear Swamp Cooler vest. With UPF 50+ coverage and strategic material choices, it offers maximum shade and cooling. This vest uses evaporative cooling technology to provide a refreshing sensation, perfect for those hot summer days. Additionally, it features side-release buckles for easy on/off and a leash portal for harness compatibility.


Summer is a time of fun and outdoor adventures, not just for us but also for our furry friends. As the temperatures rise, it's crucial to understand that a dog's wardrobe is more than just about looking good; it's about safeguarding their health and well-being. From protecting against harmful UV rays to ensuring they stay cool and comfortable, the right summer attire plays a pivotal role in your dog's summer safety.

We encourage all pet owners to prioritise their dog's comfort, health, and style during the warmer months. Don't compromise on quality or protection regarding your pet's summer wardrobe.

Ready to elevate your dog's summer style while ensuring its safety? At Ginger and Bear, we offer a fantastic range of specialised summer wear options for your furry friends. Our specially curated items allow your pet to enjoy the summer sun in style and comfort. Shop now  and give your pet the summer they deserve!

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