Canine Inclusivity in the Fashion Industry

Dog apparel isn't as inclusive as one might think. In this article, we explore canine inclusivity's importantance and how to improve it moving forward.

Canine Inclusivity in the Fashion Industry
No reason our dogs cannot be as fashionable as we are.

Dogs are not just pets; they're part of the family, so why not dress your furry friend in fun and playful clothes? Sadly, not all pet parents get the chance to do so, as many dog fashion companies limit their styles to fit smaller dogs, excluding many breeds from wearing fashionable clothes. 

In this article, we dive into the importance of canine inclusivity, the few canine-inclusive shops available, and how to improve canine inclusivity for the future. Fashion should be less about size and focus more on the comfortability and functionality of its styles. That way, every dog can be a fashionista. 

The Importance of Canine Inclusity In Fashion  

Canine inclusivity, especially in fashion, hasn't evolved much compared to human fashion brands. Today, being inclusive and diverse is not only important but greatly needed to represent everyone's unique looks. 

However, dog fashion brands haven't followed the same path. The explanations as to why companies haven't expanded their size range echo the same sentiments human fashion brands used to use. The bigger the size, the more fabric needed, equalling more money spent. 

Although small dogs may not be all the rage they once were. The American Kennel Club listed the 20 most popular dog breeds in 2024; of the breeds listed, only three are categorized as small. 

Medium and large dog breeds are becoming in demand as the years go on. However, that begs the question, why are large dogs less included in fashion if they’re becoming popular? The answer may come from stereotypes. 

When you see a Chihuahua dressed in a pink tutu and a hat, you don't really think about it. For years, toy breeds have been cataloged in high fashion magazines and runway shows. This is because toy breeds are commonly thought of as fashion accessories to their wealthy and celebrity owners. 

While it may sound harsh, toy breeds have always been compared to, well, toys. They are small, cute, and can be easily dressed up, like a stuffed animal. Dog fashion brands take advantage of that correlation to target owners of toy breeds as their main audience.    

Large dogs are wider and longer, which makes dressing them in trendy styles harder. Plus, many large breeds are commonly thought of as working dogs. They are seen as strong, intelligent, and stoic with their natural beauty; they need nothing to enhance their style. 

After all, when was the last time you saw a St. Bernard dressed in a sparkling dress or a suit and tie for a dog fashion company? Companies tend to advertise smaller breeds because there's a known and wealthy audience for it. 

However, large dog owners want to dress up their pups too. They want to see their furry friend dressed in silly costumes, fancy dresses, and loungewear because medium and large dogs are just as cute and stylish as small dogs. 

Making dog fashion inclusive for all breeds highlights the beauty of all dogs. Not all dogs are big, and not all dogs are small, so it's important to display each breed's uniqueness through fashion. Doing so will expand the dog fashion market and enable dog owners to dress their pups in fashion-forward and functional clothing. 

Canine Inclusive Shops   

Canine inclusivity can be hard to come by since dog apparel is often made and marketed for small dogs. Below are three shops that know how to be inclusive to all canines, no matter their size!

Good Thomas  

Good Thomas is a premium clothing company that allows you to match your clothes with your furry friend. The company sells Hawaiian shirts, flannels, hoodies, robes, and much more in dog sizes XS (5 to 10 lbs) through XXL (71 to 110 lbs) and in human sizes XS through XXL. 

You can also shop by breed to ensure your pup's clothing is fitted correctly. The clothing is trendy, fun, and stylish, allowing you to style your dog like you would yourself. 

The clothing is also well made and ships promptly throughout the US and internationally. The only downside to this inclusive shop is that it can be expensive. If you want to buy a matching set, you must buy each item separately, which will more than double the cost. Therefore, it may not be affordable for all dog owners.  

However, the fact that the company provides clothing for many dog sizes ensures that no dog will be left out. Whether you have a Chihuahua, a Poodle, or a German Shepherd, you can find clothing that fits and is fashionable for your pet and your whole family!

Pup Wonders  

Pup Wonders is another premium dog fashion brand. The company sells hoodies, matching sets, raincoats, and shoes for dogs in sizes XS (2 to 4 Ibs) through 7 XL (72 to 88 Ibs). The clothing is stylish yet practical, with many of the clothes offering a thermal layer for the winter, high-tech waterproofing technology against rain, or cooling technology for hot summer days. 

Pup Wonders has fewer fun patterns and innovative styles than Good Thomas, but it offers needed features for your dog to enjoy a walk outside. By focusing on the features of the clothing, Pup Wonders ensures all dogs have fun and functional clothing. Pup Wonders is also slightly cheaper since the brand often has sales, making the company more accessible for dog owners. 

Spark Paws 

If you want Good Thomas's stylish nature but Pup Wonders' functionality, meet Spark Paws. Spark Paws is a dog fashion brand that sells dog hoodies, matching sets, raincoats, jackets, sweaters, and hats in sizes S through 5XL. The site also allows you to search for your dog breed and get the perfect size for your pet.  

The brand has trendy and stylish dog fashion that also has innovative features. For instance, their hoodies are lined with calming fleece, and their jackets are water resistant, reflective, and have a zipper pocket. These stylish clothes enable your dog to be fashion-forward and comfortable. 

How To Improve Canine Inclusivity in Fashion 

To improve canine inclusivity in fashion, fashion companies, first and foremost, need to expand their size range. For instance, styles should be made to fit any dog. 

This means a style should be sized to fit a 2-pound puppy and a 200-pound adult dog. That way, owners of small and large dogs are not limited to what they can buy for their furry friends. 

Inclusivity isn't just about size; the clothes should also come with functional features that are beneficial for all dogs. After all, what good is a $40 hoodie if it can't keep a dog warm? Fashion shouldn't be just a statement; rather, it should made to enhance a dog's comfortability. Meaning the clothing should be lined with fleece, advanced cooling technology, or calming scents. 

Like human fashion, dog fashion must evolve to society's current climate. Owners of Miniature Poodles and Teacup Yorkies want to continue to dress up their dogs in quality-made items just like owners of Mastiffs and Pitbulls want to.

Therefore, dog fashion companies must expand their sizes and consider each breed in the design process. For instance, dogs with thin fur may need extra thickness in a winter jacket. However, dogs with thick and long fur may need thinner materials. Understanding these differences and finding ways to enhance a piece of clothing for each breed makes fashion inclusive and practical for all breeds to enjoy. 

Moving Forward 

Canine inclusivity in fashion needs to improve greatly. By understanding its current limitations, we can create a path to move forward. Brands can start by expanding their sizes and creating inclusive designs for all breeds. It's time that all dogs get to experience the joy of dressing up, whether in funny costumes or fancy attire. 

Now, comment below if you have used one of the shops listed. Plus, let us know what other ways fashion brands can be inclusive to all dog breeds.