Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Doggie Clothes?

In my experience, many girls, and even some guys, love to dress their dogs up.  The smaller the dog, the more clothes it gets.  Sure, it is “cute” to dress your dog up in a dress, with sunglasses, a bow, and booties, however is it the best for your dog?  It is becoming more and more popular to see people doing this to their dogs.  I even know a dog groomer who will glue a bow into the dog’s fur, which has to be cut off or just left on.  Stores are popping up all over the city that advertise custom clothing, as well as other extreme things to “pamper your pooch.”  As I was watching “It’s Me or the Dog” one afternoon, an episode came on of a lesbian couple would had a dachshund and a Yorkshire terrier, both of which are tiny, cute dogs.  They would dress their dogs up in outrageous little outfits, and went as far as to put on diapers so they wouldn’t have to take their dogs to go to the bathroom every hour.  Their problem was that their dogs would fight nonstop.  As the dog trainer, Victoria, explained to them the reasoning for their problem, life in the dog world got much clearer to me.   Clothing restricts a dog’s natural smell as well as body signals.  Without this, two dogs cannot communicate properly, therefore will fight nonstop.  The transformation once the couple stopped dressing their dogs up was amazing.  The dogs sniffed at each other, and then just started playing, as if they were never mortal enemies who acted like they were trying to kill each other. 

I am not saying you should not pamper your pooch, love them all you want.  You can even dress them up once in a while, or give them a jacket on a cold or rainy day.  However, giving them an entirely different outfit everyday takes away from the fact that they are dogs and that they think differently than us.  Anything that will mask a dog’s smell creates a risk for not only you, but also your dog.  Dogs need to be able to communicate to help them build healthy relationships and to get properly socialized.  So please, for all you lovers of doggie clothing lines, keep it to a minimum to keep your dogs happy.  

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