When is styling your pet taking it too far?

ThankFiFi fashion blogger, Wendy H Gilmour looks at when styling your pet is too far.

I imagine in LA doggy dress-up is common place.  There are outfits for every possible occasion including weddings, Halloween and even bedtime (quite literally pets pyjamas).  Things in the UK tend to be a bit more subdued and in Glasgow the strangest thing you will likely see on a dog walk is a girl trying to walk her dog in ridiculous heels.  That is me in the heels, not the dog.

Last week however, on arguably the warmest day of the year, I happened across a poodle in denim dungarees.  Cute? Yes. On trend? Double yes. But the thing which was not cute was that this poor pup was stuffed, thick wooly coat and all, into denim so tight Mariah Carey would have been proud.  She was panting frantically.

poodle in jeans

And here begin my issues with styling pets.  When the owners desire for ‘cuteness’ overpowers the animal’s right to be healthy and happy there is a problem.

I know a dog who genuinely won’t step paw outside in the wet.  Naturally she has a very fetching mackintosh for rainy days and it makes perfect sense for her to wear it.  Likewise there are certain dogs whose coats are not ideal for keeping them warm on cooler days and therefore, on some level, we could forgive Paris Hilton for dressing her Chihuahua Tinkerbell in t-shirts and coats. And let us just agree that if your pet requires clothing then there is no reason not to co-ordinate it with your own.  Nail polish is another story and whilst I harbour no desire to paint my pet’s paws in Rouge Noir, supposing the pet is not stressed by the application, or indeed a nail-biter, then I suppose it is not something to lose sleep over.

It would be unfair to discuss styling pets without talking about Boo. The meteoric rise to fame of this Pomeranian stemmed from a coat so matted that it had to be shaved off.  ‘Boo – The World’s Cutest Dog’ is born.  The owner, who remains absent from the public eye, loved the tiny teddy bear she was presented with and opted to keep the haircut and share Boo’s daily portraits and videos with a rapidly growing fan base (currently 7 million). Certainly there must now be countless Boo lookalikes the world over.  There can be no argument that Boo is not mistreated; it is clear to see that the dog is lavished with love and attention.  That being said Pomeranians have a double coat, the outer coat serving to protect from cold and heat alike, the coat Boo is missing.  We have to wonder if owners choosing this ‘cute’ hairstyle are aware that they are in fact putting their dog’s health in danger.


In China things have gone a step further with dogs being trimmed and dyed to look like pandas.  If there is a dog styling line, this crosses it.


Personally I am fairly conservative in the pet styling stakes.  I like a leash to co-ordinate with my look, maybe a bowtie for Christmas at a push because he really does not mind, but I am firmly of the opinion that he is a dog, he has a coat and it is a darn good one.


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