There is no short, easy answer to this question. Depending on the breed of dog you have, dog clothing could be completely useless or it may be very necessary. There are certain breeds of dog who do not benefit from being dressed up. Larger dogs who are used to Northern climates can handle the conditions just fine and do not need their owners to knit them a cute sweater to wear.
However, there are some dogs who fall into the category of needing clothes to help them survive the elements. For example, a smaller breed of dog will often struggle to keep themselves warm, as they do not have the body weight of a larger animal to serve as a natural form of insulation. These dogs often need clothing.
A dog who is elderly is much like an elderly person. They are far more sensitive to the cold and could have chronic illnesses that are aggravated when they spend outside without the proper winter wear. As your dog ages, pay attention to how they handle the cold and if you see signs of struggle, act accordingly.
Dogs who have a thinner body type, such as a Greyhound, may also need some sort of protective clothing to help them survive the elements. If the dog’s fur is short, they may also struggle with colder climates and need some help from their owners.
What all of the aforementioned dogs have in common with one another is that they all experience difficulty when it comes to the generation of body heat. Helping your pooch pal to stay warm and keep dry during the winter season will save both of you a great deal of agony. No one wants to watch their best friend suffer.
It even helps if you give your dog who is susceptible to the cold a sweater to wear while they are still inside. This helps you to lower your heating costs and keeps the dog warm at all times. If your dog has arthritis, then you will also want to clothe them during the colder months.
Even if your dog does not fall into one of these categories, it never hurts to keep them dry and warm. Dog clothing reduces the amount of water and dirt that gets tracked into a house and keeps the animal from potentially licking harmful materials from their paws.