Dogs as fashion accessories

Just as shoes, purses, sunglasses and the alike, dogs have recently been added to the list of items often referred to as “fashion accessories”. Yes, the word “item” is indeed correct, because ultimately, dogs used as fashion accessories are quite similar to objects, as they become the victim of today’s society with all its frivolous ways of thinking and perceiving the world.

It often all starts when a new movie comes out, featuring cute dogs that play the role as movie actors. Follows all the “owwws” and ”ahhhhs” and shortly thereafter, a new puppy is adopted. More often than not, the puppy is bought out of impulse, either because it looked adorible in the movie or because a famous movie star keeps it in her purse.

As many things bought out of impulse, a dog may loose its attractiveness as time goes by. The dog may no longer look cute as when it was a puppy or it may have started exhibiting some behaviors that are no longer very cute. The dog therefore, ends up abandoned and neglected in a yard or worse left at the local shelter as many Dalmatians puppies were as the after math of the movie “the 101 Dalmatians”.

Dogs treated as fashion accessories are often dressed up, matched with the owner’s clothing and brought along during shopping sprees and walks just to entertain the public. While these practices are generally not harmful as long as the dog is loved and catered to, dogs were not meant to be treated such way, and if the dog is fussed on and given too many privileges, behavior problems may arise due to lack of leadership.

The perhaps most intense form of treating dogs as fashion accessories is seen in the practice of ear cropping. Ear cropping in non medically necessary and is therefore, just done for fashion. The dog is put under anesthesia (which comes with some risks) and part of the ear is removed so the ears are no longer floppy. The ears are then bandaged and the puppy will have to carry uncomfortable ”ear cones” for several weeks.

Ear copping has been banned in several countries and AVMA has considered the practice unnecessary and is trying to fight against it. While ear cropping had a function many years ago to prevent working and hunting dogs to get injured, today the main function of this practice is for strictly cosmetic purposes.

More and more breeders nowadays are refraining from cropping their dog’s ears and more and more veterinarians are refusing to crop ears because of their personal beliefs and because of the difficulty of the surgery. It is not unusual for cropped ears to flop down regardless of the surgery, leaving often owners and veterinarians frustrated. The same cosmetic function applies to tail docking, often done when the dog is just days old with no anesthesia.

Dogs were meant to be dogs. Humans which should be considered superior to all animals for their mental capabilities, at times appear to experience some intellectual flaws when it comes to, showing empathy and providing proper loving care to their pets. Dogs treated as fashion accessories are victim’s of a human’s ego therefore it would be much more savvy for superficial dog owners to simply purchase a stuffed animal and place it on a shelf.

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