Things that make me cringe
There are loads of things that make me cringe but this blog is about dogs and my relationship with them so worry not, you won’t read all my cringe-triggers.
You’ll just read one today.
Halloween is still a few weeks away but I am already seeing things on social media which make me cringe. Dressing up dogs is something I’ve always felt uncomfortable about. Not wearing something functional like a sweater (Angel needs her sweaters, she shivers, I get the use of functional clothes believe me).
But dressing up? Nope, it honestly escapes me why this is done, or seen as fun.
A few years ago, at a dog show, I was corralled into allowing others to dress up Renae in a fancy dress competition. It would never happen now to any of my dogs and I should have stood my ground for Renae back then as she plainly hated it, while people laughed. I know better now and did know it was wrong then but went along with it, to my shame. Never, never again. Thankfully Renae with her robust confidence got over my weak moment with no harm done.
This article says a lot about why I dislike fancy dress for pets. I realise many will disagree with me. And think I have no sense of humour and what’s the harm. Well it can, for some dogs be a welfare issue.
“Dressing up animals or otherwise unnaturally changing their appearance is not only unnecessary and potentially harmful, but in some cases can also prevent pets from expressing their natural behaviours and from using their body language to communicate.”
Halloween can already be stressful for pets with the extra noise, excitement and general weirdness. Especially our sensitive ones, but really, that can mean any animals we live with as some may just hide their responses. Or we may miss them amid our own excitability – or ignorance.
Finally this line from the article is worth considering if you’re tempted to put a spider costume on your dog,
“It’s always best to try to keep pets calm and reassured, rather than to add to any anxiety and discomfot by dressing them up too. If in doubt, ask yourself whether dressing your pet up is really going to deliver any tangible benefits for them.”
(but really, why would a dog be happy looking like a pumpkin when it looks beautiful as a dog).