Pampering your dog: How much is too much?

pampered dogYes, I pamper my dogs. I give them treats more than they should have. I let them sleep in my bed when I shouldn’t. I give them. I get lazy and let them walk in front of me when we go for pee-poop run. I even bought my dog Cocoa costumes (not one, but TWO) even when I used to look down on dog owners who dressed up their dogs (before I had dogs). Let’s face it. I’m a big softie when it comes to my dogs. The look of their cute little puppy faces makes me weak. (I sometimes imagine that their cute look + behavior is just an act and that they would bite their owners’ face off, take over earth, and call in the rest of the invasion force from the planet of Caninia when given half the chance. – Yes I do have an active imagination.)

But I do draw my line somewhere. Let’s face it. Dogs aren’t humans and humans should never use more than “appropriate” resources in taking care of their pets. Yes, that’s right folks. Pets. That’s what they are. No matter how much a “part of family” you dog may be, it’s just a pet. Not a human being.

I am certain I am not the only one who feels this way about this social phenomenon of over-pampering dogs. The pet industry is a $43 BILLION dollar business. There are certain things I would say pets DEFINITELY need: like collar tags (shamless self promo:, neutering/spaying service, food, cleaning products, etc.

But there are certain aspects of this industry that I would challenge isn’t in the greatest interest of pets, but more so, the pet owners. For example, dog obesity drugs, cars promoted (or maybe even) designed around a pet, Ralph Lauren pet clothes, laws regulating dog grooming, WalMart’s organic pet food, $500 Coach pet carrier, and even dog massages. No, dogs are not massaging the people. PEOPLE are massaging the dog.

Perhaps I’m just a cynical blogger. While I do love my dogs, I can say for certain something is wrong with this picture . A pet is just a pet, that’s all. Pet is defined as:

An animal kept for amusement or companionship.

What is more amusing? The overpampering pet owner who thinks his/her pet is a baby or the pet?

In fact, overpampering and overcaring of your dog makes them unhappy:

Cesar Millian (the Dog Whisperer) emphasizes that the problem in most dog behavior cases is that the owners treat their pets too much like people. He stresses three rules: exercise, discipline, and then affection, strictly in that order of importance. He claims that most domestic dogs don’t get enough exercise. In nature, dogs were designed to walk great distances to cover their territory and obtain food. Short bursts of running around in the house or the back yard don’t do the trick. He recommends walking your dog at least 45 minutes per day. A lot of shoes have been chewed because of all that pent up energy.

Secondly, to the chagrin of many pet owners I’m sure, he stresses discipline over affection. As much as you think that wiggles wants to be held and stroked all day that just isn’t the case. Dogs look for leadership from the Alpha male or sometimes Alpha female of the pack If they don’t find that leadership, they unwillingly assume that role. So, hey gang, let’s tear up the kitchen trash can may seem a perfectly reasonable command to the new leader, but not to the owner of the house. Also, he maintains that since dogs don’t have a very good command of the English language, they respond much better to physical commands like a tug on the leash, or a tap of the foot than saying things like “No!” or “Down Boy!” I used to know someone who was an avid hunter.

Apparently, US isn’t the only country where people are mentally warped when it comes to taking care of their dog as if it were their human baby. Countries like Canada and Japan have crazy dog owners too and their dog experts say the same thing:

Sure, Japan is on the extreme end of pooch pampering. But the rest of the world isn’t far behind. Calgary already has a handful of doggie spas where you can take Fido for a massage, bath and hair-fluff, or “pawdicure.”


But here’s the thing: dogs don’t think like people. All that fussing and pampering means nothing to them.

“You’re going too far when you expect human qualities from a dog,” Nielson says.

Actually, your dog doesn’t like being treated like a child. Fido might even put his tail between his legs and run, if only he could get out of that doggie-purse you carry him around in. And no, it doesn’t matter if your dog is female: she still doesn’t want her nails painted to match your wife’s.

“Most dogs don’t like getting dressed up,” Nielson warns.

The very best thing you can do for any dog, it turns out, is to treat them like a dog.

This means no baby talk, no dressing them up, no buying them the latest toy.

I know this is tough to hear for people who want to dress up those adorable pups, but most dogs don’t need a sweater.

Evolution has given most breeds a thick and natural winter coat of their own. Your dog might need one if they have a thin coat of short hair, or hairless areas, Nielson says. But one or two oughta do.

So I recently attended a small dog (specifically chihuahua) event. And I saw PEARL necklace on a dog:

Now, I don’t know if  this qualifies as one of the most ridiculous pampering of all time, but I would say it’s up there along with walking your dog  on strollers. (I mean, if you’re walking your dog, you have to let your dog WALK. Otherwise, call it “strollering your dog”.)

I can go on and on about this but i’ll end this post on this note. There’s a new pet only airline that’s starting because many airlines are starting to refuse pets onto their planes. This airline carries pets in the MAIN passenger area, not the cargo and it’s pet only.

For those of you who feel compelled to use this service, I offer a cheaper and more logical alternative:


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  • […] Scanning through another site, I found a list of cool stuff ranging from costumes, puppy beaded safety pins, soda pop can puppy, and of course food with pets! I think this would be another classification of dog craze/pampering. […]

  • […] the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen produced by the mankind for the dogkind. This is beyond pampering your dog to a laughable level. Why on earth would a neutered male dog need replacement […]

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