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Doggie Dress Up: Are Costumes Bad for Your Pet?

Many pet owners see their dogs as members of the family, so they want them to enjoy people pleasures as well as canine pursuits. As a result, they often dress up their pets. Sometimes the purpose is a practical one – keeping their dogs warm during the cold winter months – but often dog owners buy costumes because their pets just look so darn cute in them. Who doesn’t smile at a terrier dressed like Chewbacca or a poodle dressed like Snow White? As adorable as pets look in their plaid coats and tuxedo pants, you need to consider their comfort. Costuming your pet is perfectly fine as long as you take certain precautions.

Physical Comfort

Your pug may look lovely as a fairy, but you need to make certain the costume itself is physically comfortable and safe. Experts recommend that costumes not be too tight or restrictive so your dog can still walk and sit freely. The costume should also not be too large. If it drags, the costume can easily become caught on something, trapping your animal. Your dog’s costume should not cover its mouth, ears, eyes or whiskers, and it should not smell. Your pet can easily become overwhelmed by strong odors. If the hotdog suit smells bad to you, imagine how it smells to your scent-sensitive dog. Finally, the costume shouldn’t have anything on it that your pet could swallow. Buttons are definitely out.

Remember, you want to invest in costumes made from breathable fabrics. Hot, scratchy material feels bad to you, and it will to your pet as well. If you wouldn’t wear it, maybe your dog shouldn’t either.

Emotional Comfort

Some pets do not seem to mind being dressed in costume for special occasions or even on a regular basis. Others find the entire experience distressing and should be spared the trauma.

Some dogs see their little winter sweaters come out and know they are going for a walk. If they are not a particularly furry breed, they may even need the extra protection from the cold. Obviously, if your pet doesn’t struggle against an article of clothing and even wags that tail, he or she doesn’t mind wearing comfortable outfits. On the other hand, dogs that hate being dressed up will not look happy. In fact, some appear downright embarrassed. If your lab runs behind the couch when he sees his detective’s coat coming, give him a break and let him keep his dignity.

Your pets may show physical signs of distress when you dress them up. If your pets are panting and shaking, they are not having fun; no matter how cute they look, make sure you just retire their costumes. Others signs of distress include yawning, wide eyes and lip licking. If you wouldn’t make your toddler suffer in a Santa suit, extend the same courtesy to your dog.

Most dog owners are conscientious people who take care of their pet’s health. They schedule regular vet appointments and give their dogs medications such as Trifexis to prevent heartworm and other ailments. If you’re looking for a safe way to ensure your dog has prevented heartworm, you can get more info here. As your dog’s caretaker, you want to protect his or her comfort and dignity as well. If your dog hates to play dress up, don’t try to make it happen. Use a phone app to transform your pet into an angel instead of an uncomfortable halo.


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