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Helen Mead: Pet fashions getting well out of hand
2:30pm Monday 30th June 2014 in Latest
ARE they baby clothes? I asked my husband while out shopping.
For a moment I thought we had wandered into Mothercare by mistake, but no, we were definitely in Pets at Home.
Little jumpers, skirts and coats in various designs and colours were displayed on hangers, like in a regular fashion store.
They were all for dogs. It wasn’t nice — I can accept those simple jackets that dogs wear in winter or in wet weather, although my husband believes that even they are unnecessary.
But when dogs are being dressed in pink ra-ra skirts, bomber jackets and faux fur stoles, it’s a bit much.
I know that, for many years, certain breeds such as Yorkshire terriers and chihuahuas have worn fancy dog coats.
As a child I recall a woman in our village whose poodle wore a fur-lined, Barbie pink affair.
But these were exceptions to the rule. And under the diamante embellishments they were still conventional dog jackets. You never saw mutts in jeans, sweaters or tu-tus.
Back then we were happy to leave all that to the Americans. Yet now more and more people are creating wardrobes for their dogs.
Some are even co-ordinating their own clothes with those of their pet. The fashion house Barbour has even started producing a canine version of its quilted jacket.
What are people thinking? Dogs are animals, they’re not here to be dressed up to the nines in movement-restricting clothing.
They shouldn’t be made to look like us, because they’re not us, they’re animals. Pets in clothes never look happy - can’t owners see that?
Last week I looked after two dogs while their owners were away. Lucy a labrador and Lily, a mongrel. While watching them splash through water and race through woodland, I tried to imagine how they would look in twin set and pearls or frilly dresses.
The cat’s section in the pet store was more sensibly stocked, but feline fashions will soon appear. A quick glance on the internet reveals cat dresses, skirts, and jackets — there’s even a cat onesie. All, of course, with matching nail varnish.
In my opinion, putting a cat in a onesie should carry a jail sentence. I remember how crazy my cats became when I first put on their collars.
It’s a shame pets aren’t able to inflict role reversal on to owners — a collar and lead may make people think twice about dressing their pet.
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