As the winter months hereld in frigid temperatures, the people of New England drag out their hefty winter coats and thick scarves knitted by grandma. As a result, before stepping out into sub-Arctic temperatures, us humans don’t think twice about putting on our warm coats before we step snow-shoed feet onto the snowy ground. But what about favorite fluffy companions,dogs?
Considering dogs aren’t capable of putting on a snuggly sweater for themselves, the owners must take initiative to wrap their canine friend in fuzz when the temperature drops drastically. The debate is this: whether putting clothing apparel on dogs is humane or not.
The decision still seems to be up in the air.
Some dog owners, like Caleb Lomme ‘16, don’t think twice about putting their pup in a fashionable coat for winter. His dog, Izzy, sports a “red jacket that compliments [her] collar” and occasionally it is kept on even after she’s done playing in the snow.
Other owners like Holly Eisenberg ‘16 and Maggie Devlin ‘16 agree with Lomme that it’s practical for a dog to wear a winter jacket. The two seniors are both small dog owners who also use coats for their dogs. “Hats [for dogs] are cute, too,” Eisenberg added.
Where Eisenberg, Devlin, and many other owners draw the line is with fashion-centered clothes for dogs. “It creeps me out and is unnecessary to dress dogs up for no practical reason,” Devlin said. Some owners choose to play “dress up” with their pup by putting on T-shirts, onesies, and even bows for their ears. These items hold no practical purpose for the dogs, but are rather for the enjoyment of their caregiver.
But enjoyment is part of what an owner should get out of their dog.
Dog owners across the nation go to extreme lengths to show off their prize-pooch in the newest designer tutu. Contests of “Best Dressed Dog” pop up across the world, from Boston to Melbourne to Colorado. Owners go all out in putting their pups in elaborate and creative get up’s in order to steal the judges attention.
The dog-dressing phenomenon gets even fancier than some can imagine. Boutiques, both online and retail stores, sell nearly everything a human can buy for themselves, just in a dog size. The online boutique known as Posh Pet Glamour Boutique is known for selling designer bathrobes, corsets, swimwear, and even pajamas all for the four-pawed friend. The items sell for upwards of $70 and are frequently bought by celebrities. The website notes that both Miley Cyrus and Paris Hilton have been customers at their boutique.
Some people choose to take their love of dog clothing to the next level and choose to actually work with the animals because of the dog clothing.
A PetSmart employee recently explained their love of dressing up dogs. “Whenever I see them come out of the groomer freshly cleaned with a bow in their hair, I can’t help but smile,” the PetSmart employee said, who prefered to remain anonymous. She believes no harm is done to the dogs by dressing them up and doesn’t understand why many owners see it as inhumane.
Although fashion shows and designer suits may not be for every pooch and their person, there are certainly many tails wagging and credit cards swiping over the thought of the next Posh-Puppy shipment.