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Analysis: Appropriate Animal Attire

Normal Animals Wearing Clothes or Accessories

This is about animals wearing accessories and pieces of clothing. Only, they are not cartoonish animals. They still walk on four legs (unless they are a bird or another animal that is supposed to be bipedal), most don't talk, they eat from the floor, and most lack the opposing thumbs and manual dexterity that allow them to hold things.

Given the lack of proper clothing that animals (those less anthropomorphic than the Civilized Animal tier) can wear without feeling unconfortable, the amount of clothing they can wear usually doesn't exceed the accessory-wearing or half-dressed (shirt or other top but no pants or other bottom version) tiers.

Truth in Television: Some owners do give dogs clothes for them to wear, mostly for small dogs in winter. Also, working animals almost always wear special packs, vests, jackets, or blankets marking them as such.

General Examples of Accessories and Clothing Given to Normal Animals

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These clothes and accessories are typically, stereotypically, or sometimes given to nomal animals and their fictional counterparts, the Nearly Normal Animal, Talking Animal (whether speech-impaired or not), and Partially Civilized Animal. Sometimes, these garments and accessories can show up in Civilized Animals, Funny Animals, and Petting Zoo People as well.

    Birds in General 
  • Identity bands or tags on their feet/ankles
  • Animal tracking bands or tags on their feet/ankles

    Birds of Prey (Hawks, Falcons, Eagles, and Owls) 
  • Identity bands or tags on their feet/ankles
  • Animal tracking bands or tags on their feet/ankles
  • Hoods that cover their eyes for manning and to keep them from panicking.
  • A bell, or pair of bells, on their legs (attached via small leather strips called bewits)
  • Strips of strong leather called jesses on both legs.

  • Collar and tag and/or bell
    • Insect or Flea collars
    • Breakaway collars
  • Harness
  • Leash
  • Bow, bowtie, or ribbon around their neck. (Much more common in fiction than in Real Life)
  • Jackets, coats, sweaters, or shirts, especially for Sphynx and other hairless cats
  • They wear Elizabethan collars to keep from scratching or licking at stitches or sutures

  • Cows wear cowbells
  • Bulls wear a nose ring
  • Cattle of either sex wear tags on their ears
  • Tie-up collars

  • Collar and tag
    • Insect or Flea collars
    • Anti-bark or bark control collars
    • Training or Shock collars
    • Choke collars
  • Harness
  • Leash
  • Muzzles
  • Dogs, especially small dogs, wear jackets, coats, sweaters, or shirts, especially in the winter
  • Working dogs almost always wear special packs, vests, jackets, or blankets marking them as such
  • Police dogs wear bullet-proof jackets
  • Military dogs wear gas masks
  • Sled dogs wear booties to protect their paws
  • Stereotypically, rescue St. Bernards have a tiny barrel of whiskey attached to their collar so the rescued person can have a belt. (Fiction only)
    • In Real Life, they wear first aid packs on their backs.
  • They wear Elizabethan collars to keep from scratching or licking at stitches or sutures

  • Collar and tag
  • Harness
  • Leash
  • Jackets, coats, sweaters, or shirts

  • Halter
  • Horseshoes
  • Saddle
  • Jacket or blanket to keep warm
  • Blinders to keep them from panicking
  • Horsecollar
  • Horse Harness

  • Harness

  • Shirts or vests
  • Harness
  • Leash
  • Identity bands or tags on their feet/ankles
  • Animal tracking bands or tags on their feet/ankles

  • Harness
  • Jackets, coats, sweaters, or shirts

    Wild Animals 
  • Radio or animal tracking collars or tags on an animal's wing, ankle, carapace, ear, or dorsal fin depending on the species

Reasons Normal Animals Are Given Clothes or Accessories in Media

The reasons to give animals such accessories (aside from the usual collar and tag for dogs and horseshoes and halter for horses) and partial clothing in media is to make them more unique. People would likely remember a puppy with a tophat instead of a simple puppy. It can also be used to mask the fact more than one dog is used for the same role in a live action show or movie. The audience would remember the accessory and overlook the fact this dog is slightly smaller or bigger depending on the scene.

Civilized Animals, Funny Animals, and Petting Zoo People Wearing Normal Animal Accessories

    Newspaper Comics 

    Video Games 
  • Klonoa wears a collar along with his outfit.

    Western Animation 

Body Part Accommodation Features in Clothing

Animals (whether fictional or nonfictional species), aliens, monsters, and fantasy creatures often have body parts that humans don't have, like tails, long or close-set ears, horns, spikes, shells, antlers, wings, e.t.c. Such body parts have to be taken into consideration when designing clothes for them.

Some body parts on animals, like shells and quills don't accommodate shirts well and wings don't accommodate sleeves well unless the sleeves are really big. Animals with horns or antlers, such as deer, moose, antelope, cattle, or goats, cannot wear T-shirts or similar garments that need to be pulled over the head.

Hats and helmets must be designed so that the ears are not restricted, but protected if required. Horns and antlers pose additional problems as well.

The most common body part accommodation features in clothing are for ears and tails.


The most common ear accommodation features in headgear are ear holes on each side of hats, hoods, and caps of various types. Sometimes, this is done with helmets. Another ear accommodation feature in headgear are closed ear sleeves for each ear on coat, jacket, and sweater hoods.


The most common tail accommodation features in clothing are tail holes in pants, shorts, underwear, and skirts. Sometimes, tail holes can show up in trench coats, other long coats and jackets, and even long shirts and sweaters.

It's not unreasonable to think, for example, that long pants made for animals would have long sleeves to accommodate their tails as well, but strangely, almost nobody ever depicts such a thing. The closest people ever get to depicting this is with spacesuits with closed sleeves that accommodate an animal's tail.


Claw accommodation features in the form of slits or holes can show up any type of fingered glove's fingertips. This could be especially useful for an animal that has long claws. For some reason, this is almost never depicted on any glove-wearing cartoon animal.
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