SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

January 11, 2013

Does my dog need a coat?

Q: I read online in another dog advice column that it was up to the owner to decide if the dog needed a coat or sweatshirt in the winter. I recall several columns ago that a reader asked you if clothes were necessary for dogs, to which you replied no. I have pugs, so I’m very careful when the weather turns (both hot and cold), but I typically don’t put any additional covering on them if they are just going out to go potty. Because I consider you an authority on this subject, and the other columnist I do not, I am wondering what your opinion is of this recommendation.

A: The official “Ask Dog Lady” opinion is that dogs are happy nudists. They’ve lived for hundreds, nay thousands, of years subsisting on raw meat and raw elements. We humans domesticated them to live in our homes, sleep in our beds, eat our leftovers and — drumroll please — not wear our clothes.

Clothes on dogs are all about the human, not the dog — except for booties on winter salt and snow. Sure, maybe we feel better when we clothe Italian greyhounds or Yorkshire terriers or pugs because they’re smaller and more vulnerable to the cold. Certainly, in a blizzard or minus-minus wind chill, these dogs should be protected and never left outside. Coat or no coat, a well-protected dog of any size will not expire of hypothermia when the human provides comfort and warmth.

Dogs rankle under the constriction of clothing, which is Dog Lady’s biggest gripe about clothes for dogs. A coat on top of a coat of natural hair or fur feels unnatural to them. Although there are lovely outfits for dogs, the rags are not required.

Q: I adopted a 6-year-old beagle from an animal shelter about five months ago. He has been a great addition to my city home. His personality has changed so much since I got him. He has learned to play and gets along well with other dogs. He had been urinating in the house, but with a little training, he has greatly improved, as long as I can catch him in the act. What can I do to stop the excessive chewing and put an end to his house potty habits so that I don’t have to worry about what he’s doing every time I turn my back? I hope you can help.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Lifestyle
  • Dear Abby: Young man with heart scar has options for covering it up Dear Abby: You printed a letter from "Self-Conscious in Georgia" (May 15), a young man who is insecure about the scar from his heart surgery. I have had three surgeries for congenital defects, my first at 2 years old. Because many women's fashions ex

    August 19, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Angry wife resents husband for hiding news of his health Dear Abby: When my husband is sick or needs to have surgery, he refuses to tell his family and doesn't want me to. This puts me in a very awkward position. I'm damned if I do tell them because he will be upset with me, and damned if I don't because h

    August 18, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Romantics should come back to earth Dear Abby: I have been single for a couple of years. I have always been levelheaded when it comes to romance, but I'm finding myself unable to control my feelings about the new man I'm seeing. "Brent" is smart, intelligent, sweet and loving. We have

    August 16, 2014

  • North Shore religion calendar Saturday, Aug. 16 Church Yard Sale, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Our Lady of Fatima Church, 50 Walsh Ave., Peabody. Church-sponsored yard sale features home furnishings, clothing, children's items, furniture and more. Portuguese food will also be available. All

    August 16, 2014

  • North Shore religion news in brief The Church of the Holy Name is seeking artists and crafters to participate in the Fall Arts and Craft Fair on Saturday, Sept. 20, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the church, located at the corner of Monument Avenue and Thomas Road in Swampscott. A limited a

    August 16, 2014

  • This weekend's Best Bets Best Bets for Saturday, Aug. 16 and Sunday, Aug. 17

    Looking for something to do this weekend? Check out The Salem News' Best Bets.

    August 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • North Shore Gardener: Toad in your garden? That’s a good thing Q: There are several large toads -- some as big as a fist -- that live around the hosta on the shady side of my garden. They seem to especially like to be near the faucet, which sometimes leaks! Are they doing any harm? My small dog got one in his mo

    August 15, 2014

  • Dr. Kate's Parent Rap: Mission statement can help with co-parenting troubles More often than not, when I speak with parents today, they describe struggles with their children that originate in parenting conflicts. Parents often disagree when making daily decisions, and yet, they are steadfast in their beliefs that they share

    August 15, 2014

  • 0709_sn_out_tinticolor.jpg Salem native Hannah Tinti returns for Community Read The author of "The Good Thief" thinks her novel is a good choice for Salem's Community Read event next week. "It's something that appeals to adult readers and also younger readers," said Salem native Hannah Tinti. "It's sort of a crossover book. It w

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • polishpicnic Quick pick: Polish food for all at picnic Indulge in the flavors of Polish food at St. Michael's Society's annual Polish Picnic on Sunday, Aug. 17, in Peabody. Festivities begin at noon with a polka Mass featuring music by the Eastern Sounds Orchestra, followed by a picnic of Polish food and

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

NDN Video
Comments Tracker