I’m Defending Every Pet Owner Who Dresses Their Animal Up in New England
I am very prepared for people to not read the entirety of this article before commenting their disbeliefs and voicing their anti-clothing wearing opinions on any animals.
That said, I need to say my take.
After Halloween, as we approach Christmas and the colder months, many speak out on people who "force" their dogs to dress up in costumes.
This is Larry as bat boy. Heeling, walking, smiling, loving the day.
One of my friends and collogues even wrote a piece on his disapproval for dressing dogs up in real clothes. Check it out here.
After reading his opinion article, that harped on how cruel it was to dress animals in costumes, I headed over to the comment section. Bad idea. What I saw were people agreeing, putting down and talking ill upon those who dress their dogs in costumes, shirts, sweatshirts, etc.
As a loving dog owner, for years I believed in that very side. That it was cruel and belittling to the dog. Then I met my wife.
She loves to treat our two bernedoodles to a themed shirt, sweatshirt, or some kind of clothing. I fought her for a bit. Telling her it was a waste of money, the dogs hated it, and it was embarrassing.
Then I saw the way the dogs acted when she took them out.
They love it. Seriously, when one of us takes out a costume, sweatshirt, of some piece of dog clothing, they get excited. They run over to you and either A). try and get themselves in the shirt or B). sit patiently waiting to be dressed for the occasion.
I mean, look at Miko asking for a sweatshirt belly rub.
They never scratch, claw, or chew it. And if they did, we would remove it immediately.
I write this article because many see a dog in a costume or shirt and immediately judge. "that's cruel," "they are bad pet owners," "the dog must hate that..." etc. etc.
I think it is crucial to say that not all dogs and pets like extra clothing. The RSPCA has advised against dressing pets up for Halloween as costumes can increase stress in animals and cause them to 'overheat and struggle to breathe properly,'" according to a Country Living article.
That said, there are certainly circumstances where dogs WANT extra clothing. Perhaps if a dog is thin haired, small, it is cold, etc. Or maybe the dog likes an extra piece of clothing because it is soothing.
You like your weighted blanket right? Maybe my dog likes his sweater.
“To a dog, a costume, fitting tight around the dog’s midriff and back, might well reproduce that ancestral feeling [of being scolded by a more powerful dog],” says dog cognition researcher and professor Alexandra Horowitz in the New Yorker.
The above quote is certainly true and holds value. If a piece of clothing is tight, it should NEVER go on a dog. And if a dog scratches, claws, chews, or tries to get out of a piece of clothing it should be removed immediately.
That said, if you see a doggo strutting his stuff in a tube top, or holiday sweatshirt before you think nasty thoughts of the owner, think of the dog - maybe the doggo likes the extra attention and extra warmth.