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Should you dress up your dog?

There are so many cute little dresses, suits, hats, tops, pants, boots, coats and other accessories for dogs. We dress them up like little dolls and parade them down the street. But what are your dogs thinking?

I was watching the news last night and they ran a story about the psychological effects of dressing up your dog. And it wasn't good. And I tried hunting down a link for it on the newscaster's web site but couldn't find any reference to the story anymore (unless I purchase yesterday's tape of the news).

But it seems that it's decidedly unhealthy for your pet to be dressed up and taken in public. I can understand that it's probably harder to run around freely in a little outfit as opposed to romping about "au naturel". But apparently it is also psychologically damaging to the dog. It seems they don't play with the same kind of abandon when they're dressed up, have less spunk and actually shy away from other dogs.

We have never dressed up our dogs. I've thought about buying little booties and coats in the winter to keep them warm on walks, but not for everyday. Since my dogs are boys, the idea of putting anything frilly and pretty on them has just never crossed my mind. And as for doggy tuxes and other "male outfits", I just never even thought about it. Yes, I've looked at dogs who are dressed up, pointed them out to my husband with a comment "awww...look at that!" but in the back of my mind I'd always be thinking how uncomfortable that poor little pooch must be.

Doggie clothes are a novelty, but they're made to satisfy the needs of us...humans. Nothing about it is for the dog. And I guess in the end you have to decide what is more important to you - your pet's comfort or your need for attention.


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