The SPCA in London has recently suggested that they would like to begin prosecuting dog owners who “overdress” their dogs. Within the last few years, clothing for your little best friend became a full-out craze; celebrities started the trend, where it quickly cuaght on with average dog owners. The SPCA has spoken out against this craze, reporting that putting shoes, trousers, and other clothing/accessories can be harmful to your dog. As a dog owner myself, I know what it’s like to want your dog to be happy and comfortable in every way possible.
When I first got my puppy just a little over a year ago, my boyfriend and I went right to this pet store and decided that since it was the beginning of winter, he was just a little pooch and he had short hair, that we would get him a coat. We ended up shoveling out $30+ for this tiny red coat with a fur hood on it. It was adorable on him, so big that you could only see the tip of his lil pink nose out from under the hood. He didn’t like it at first, he would struggle when we put it on him – but he got used to it, and plus it kept him warm (not that he had to walk anywhere by himself for the first few months anyway – he spent all his time being carried wherever we went)! I still believe that there is nothing wrong with us having him wear that coat – but I do side with the SPCA on this one.
By nature, a dogs hair will shed in the summer and thicken in the winter; dogs are very adaptable and their fur does keep them warm, whether they are short or long haired (those hairless ones obviously don’t fall in this category). We as humans change dogs from having dog behaviours, we make them as human as we can; which is 100 percent wrong. Dogs want to be dogs, and I doubt there is a single pooch in the world who enjoys having any clothing on them at all; they don’t want to wear clothes! While I still believe that putting a light sweater or coat on your short haired dog to keep them warm in the winter is perfectly fine, that is where I draw the line. Shoes, pants, skirts, scarves, hats etc, none of these are justifiable garments to torture your dog with! What many dog owners don’t realize is that most dogs have hip and elbow dysplasia – a condition that worsens with age, but also can be worsened by putting pants or sweaters anywhere near their hips or elbows (you’re not even supposed to hit your dog on their legs or hips as it can further damage and increase the likelihood of arthritis). So, when your urge to make your dog cute (for your benefit remember – dogs don’t think it looks cute on them) becomes cruel, organizations like the SPCA have an obligation to step in and speak for them. Now if only we could get the same rules in North America, then we could stop seeing Paris Hilton torture her toy “accessories”.