What could be cuter than a toy poodle or a Chihuahua all decked out from ear to paw in a tuxedo. Dog apparel is in. And the possibilities are becoming endless. Rapidly. Of course, adorning your pooch with lusciously adorable little outfits is bound to get mixed reviews from the general public. In venturing into this venue, one should keep a few things in mind when dressing the dog up for special, or any, occasions.
Not everyone is going to agree with dressing up your dog. In fact, there are those who are going to be downright offended and aren’t going to hide it from you one little bit. In fact, I witnessed a fairly harsh exchange between a human with a dressed dog and one with adamant feelings opposing the dressing of a dog. There are those who feel it is a little bit cruel while others view it as harmless fun.
Those who view the idea of dog apparel as a ridiculous journey into the continual humanizing of animal life will usually tell you they feel this way because they do not believe the dog enjoys it. Dogs, by nature, tend to prefer dirt to dresses and smelliness to smocks. Dogs are just dogs and they shouldn’t be “pampered” like they were furry children. However, you can bet your puppy’s fuzzy little bathrobe on the fact that the opposition pampers their pup just as heavily, they just do it in different ways and don’t view their actions as “pampering.”
Is it Normal to Dress Up Your Dog
This of course begs the question, “Is there anything wrong with dressing up Fido for his stroll about town?” Well, there is no one right answer. It depends on your dog. If your dog seems to respond well, and is showing the signs of puppy laughter and excitement when you pull out your favorite dog outfit, then the answer is probably no. However, some dogs simply hate it. Some dogs would rather go through the castration process again than being dressed up. It is your human duty to distinguish between the two, or whether your dog is somewhere in between.
Some dogs have very vivid and very perceptible moods. Some dogs will allow you to dress them up one day and even seem to enjoy it while another day they greet the wardrobe with fancy snarling.
Determining your dog’s reaction is about understanding their personality while simultaneously understanding their general adherence to commands. Be honest. Everyone wants to think they have a really well behaved dog, but few people have dogs who are ready and willing to get dressed for their owner just because they know their place. Tolerance and enjoyment are two different aspects, and you should know which of the two your pup is displaying before you deck him out in leather or lace.
Most dogs who take well to dog apparel and even seem to enjoy it start the dressing up when they are just young pups. These dogs are usually the smaller breeds, where primping seems to go along with the breed just for the sake of grooming. Of course, a peppy little mixed breed can get in on the action as well. Puppies naturally want to play with everything and anything. When you first start introducing them to their new clothing line, you might want to keep a close eye on them once they are dressed. Their own playful spirit might not only ruin the outfit, but put them in danger as well.
Dogs and puppies that are dressed for the town should never be left alone in their garb. Dogs tend to be accident prone regardless of how well behaved they are when they are left in their everyday get up. Snags, catches, and clips all represent a danger to them that would require human hands to get them out of.
Just as you are likely to encounter resistance out on the daily walk by naysayers of doggie dressing, you are also likely to encounter puppy dressing enthusiasts. There are a great number of people who gather weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly at the local puppy park for a casual and relaxed fashion show. Just ask your pooch to don his best outfit of the week and show up. Everyone gets a chance to admire new styles, creative ideas, and of course, dog stories. The dogs get a lot of excellent socialization out of this whole process and are typically eager to return again.
Despite the fact that I myself was a naysayer of puppy dressing I have found practical uses for dog apparel over the past few years. As dogs get older, especially smaller dogs who are closer to the ground, their general discomfort in their bones can be significantly exacerbated by cold weather. A heavy sweater designed to come all the way down to the hips (while still allowing ample room for mess free urination) can really help keep that almost inevitable stiffness away during outdoor activities.
Dogs with an adamant disdain for having to go out in the rain can benefit from the convenient shelter offered by dog ready rain gear. I used to think the little rain booties were simply over the top until I ended up with a pup that absolutely hated to get his precious paws wet. Even a little puddle on a sunny day was too much for him.
For the dog suffering from incontinence, doggie diapers are a real life saver. Most people with a passionate intolerance for dog urine all over the house also love their dog enough to try to find a reasonable solution. Dog diapers help give the dog his dignity back while keeping the human’s emotions in check with a reasonable and relatively simple answer to what was once a heart breaking problem.
Whatever your motivation, practical or fun, dressing up a pup in dog apparel that enjoys the process can help deepen the bond between human and canine. In most cases, the dog and the human just have fun, enjoy showing themselves off around the neighborhood, and give naysayers like me something to consider. After all, how adorable can you get without finally pulling on even the firmest of heart strings?