Sales of pet clothing went up in the pandemic - according to eBay, there has been a 45% increase in searches this year. Now Dsquared2 has announced that it is planning to bring out a dog couture range, including bandanas, lumberjack shirts and leather leashes. While the online fashion store Ssense has collaborated with designers such as Ashley Williams and Marine Serre for an exclusive pet-specific range. No wonder in May, James Corden’s Late Late Show replaced Met Gala coverage with a Pet Gala.Model wears a D2 x Poldo check bandana, £55, Dsquared2.“There’s a growing interest for customers to reflect their own individual style and match it with their dog’s through clothing,” Brigitte Chartrand, the vice-president of womenswear buying at Ssense told Women’s Wear Daily. Indeed, lockdown brought owners closer to their pets physically and psychologically, with more owners working from home and spending more time with their pets.
But Japan Airlines offers special charter flights to domestic tourist destinations once a year that let dog owners bring their pets inside the cabin. Ishiyama says that’s because it’s hard to overcome the hurdles associated with dog ownership in Japan, and only people who are really committed to owning dogs do so.
“Anthropomorphism trends in the UK pet market have never been more apparent than in 2020,” says Mark Waddy, the director of MTW Research. He cites the pet snacks market and the popularity of human-like treats like doggy ice cream and chocolates for dogs, dog perfume as other examples of ‘anthropomorphism’ driven consumer trends. “One of the more recent trends would be ‘doggy drinks’ such as beer and wine – specifically produced for dogs,” he says. “Pets are fully established as a ‘primary family member’ among most pet-owning households.”
Limit treats to training rewards. This is an excellent way to make sure your dog views treats as special rather than expected. It’s also helpful in keeping your pet from becoming overweight or obese. Feed a species-appropriate diet, and partner with a holistic or integrative vet to maintain your pet’s well-being.
Model wears a reflective jacket, £14.99, H&M.Moncler poldo dog couture. Photograph: MonclerHe adds that, “during the Covid-19 pandemic, pet owners have been walking their dogs more – increasing the focus on pet clothing.” And the trend isn’t confined to the designer end: there is affordable pet apparel to buy at H&M. Eric Musgrave, a former editorial director of Drapers, agrees. “As well as binge-watching box sets, cleaning out the attic and sorting all those folders of digital photos, playing dressing up with your pets is one way to pass the long days,” he says.
The right way to pet a dog...
Pet shops, unlike clothing stores, remained open during lockdown so there was little decline in sales. By 2024, it is expected to reach £40m, according to MTW- a economic projection that was made before the crisis but which looks likely to stand given the current buzz.With petcore showing no sign of slowing down, it’s worth noting that the RSPCA does not object to the category of dog clothing as a whole. “There can be clear benefits for dogs wearing some forms of clothing, for example, to help them keep warm in cold weather and to aid visibility at night,” says a spokesperson. However the organisation points out that garments should be chosen with meticulous care, always putting the dog’s needs before aesthetics. “Clothing needs to allow dogs to behave normally so they can go to the toilet, exercise, drink and eat. It should not restrict hearing, sight or their ability to communicate with other dogs and people.”
Make Training More Fun by Switching Up The Rewards. Instead of just giving praise for a new trick add some yummy treats or a game of tug as the reward. By changing the rules & rewards you’re keeping training sessions more fun & exciting for both you & your dog.
As human clothing trends veer towards the practical and slovenly- like sweatpants and socks and sandals - dogs could soon look sharper than their owners.