Good reasons not to dress up or paint your dog

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Dressing dogs up with fancy costumes (translation: ridiculous costumes) and human clothing appears to be a popular pastime for lots of people. What many of these people probably fail to consider is the impact their own fun is having on the not so eager dogs subject to this odd human behavior.

Some even go as far as to paint their dogs to look like other animals.

Understand this: unless you’re dressing the dog up in order to keep him warm, in which case a simple cover will do, the costumes are for your benefit - not the dogs. More often than not, a costume is a hassle.

The dog has to stand still both when you dress him up, and often times, be paraded around at silly competitions for sometimes hours on end. This is not natural and sometimes tantamount to abuse. 

Are you one of those people who deny your dog much activity following a long and tedious “paint job” in fear of messing it up? Yes? Then I want you to really think about the price you’re forcing your dog to pay just so he can look “nice” for everybody else (humans) except himself (hint: he doesn’t care about his looks).

If you are under the impression that your dog loves to be dressed up and treated like a human baby, then you don’t know your dog. Bold, I know.

Costumes can inhibit communication

Aside from the sometimes physical restrictions and discomfort that goes along with silly costumes, you should know that this humanization of dogs can inhibit his ability to communicate with other dogs.

If you cover large parts of the dogs body in clothing, this can obviously hide proper body language from others. Considering how body language is an integral part of doggy communication - this is bad.

If a dog is unable to make himself understood by other dogs due to restrictive clothing, the dog in question can over time lose the ability to effectively communicate because he learns that it is of no use in the first place. The dog won’t necessarily understand that he isn’t being understood because he’s forced to wear silly clothing, but that’s not his job anyway - that’s on you.

Author: Stian Karlsen

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