Posts Tagged ‘dog clothes’

Spoiled but not Spoiled Rotten

August 8, 2014

Big Bone Jones Natural Chews 003

Do people tell you your dogs are spoiled? I hear it so much that I’ve actually told people my dogs are spoiled. But I think the word ‘spoiled’ when referring to our pets can have two different meanings. The Google definition is to “harm the character of (a child) by being too lenient or indulgent.” I imagine that this is what some people mean when they tell me I spoil my dogs. But when I say it, I simply mean to care for in a generous way. And I think this less harsh (albeit incorrect) definition of spoiled is what most people mean. Here’s why.

By the standards of many non-dog-lovers, it can certainly seem that I go overboard with all the things I do for my dogs. Maya and Pierson have lots of dog toys, nice plush beds, get quality food. They get plenty of exercise and mental stimulation with learning tricks. And I buy lots of dog products to promote their health and safety.

Dogs Maya & Pierson on Pet Dek in Car

This kind of treatment is easily perceived as spoiling by those who only get their dogs the basic supplies. But I am not lenient or indulgent with Maya and Pierson.

Spoiling My Dogs with Food?
For one, my dogs are not overfed. They have set meal times and are only fed a certain amount. They get treats ever so often, but I don’t overdo it. Sometimes I give treats to be indulgent. But most other times, Maya and Pierson get treats when we do fun training time.

Spoiling My Dogs by Training Them?
That’s right, I train them. It can’t be called spoiling by the true definition if I’ve taken the time to train my dogs manners. Maya and Pierson don’t get to run amuck. They are not allowed in certain rooms. They sit and stay in certain situations. And they come when called.

I can be lenient (or lazy) when it comes to certain training aspects. I am terrible about being consistent with leash walking habits. While I do cross the street when we see another dog in order to help with Maya and Pierson’s leash reactive behaviors, I do not make it a point to specifically train for modifying leash behaviors on a daily or even weekly basis. Because I still try to be responsible about their behaviors, I do not see this leniency as spoiling my dogs.

Maya and Pierson Cuddle on Couch 2

Allowing Dogs on the Furniture?
Some people believe that allowing your dogs on the furniture is spoiling them. They say this could lead to certain behavior issues. I’m not going to dispute that here. While Maya and Pierson are not generally allowed on the furniture (a personal preference), I’ve allowed it in the past and on some special occasions. And it certainly hasn’t harmed their character.

Spoiling with Love?
Perhaps allowing my dogs to live in the house where I can pet them every five minutes if I want can seem indulgent. Maybe it is, in a way. But this action does not harm their character. It is actually a benefit for both of us. They get to relax. I get to relax.

Maya Getting Nails Cut

Cutting doggy toenails.

Spoiling with Care?
While I do spend a lot of quality enjoyment time with my dogs, I also do things to them that they do not enjoy. Things like brush their teeth, cut their nails, and comb their hair. Is this spoiling? I think not.

Dog Toys All Over the Floor 001

Spoiling with Lots of Dog Toys?
When I buy Maya and Pierson a bunch of toys it can be perceived as spoiling. I beg to differ, though. Having toys to stimulate the mind and to get exercise is not going to harm their character. It’s going to help it.

Spoiling with Dog Clothes?
If your dog wears cute clothes, people will probably stop and tell your dog in a cooing voice that he’s spoiled. But they certainly couldn’t mean spoiling as in harming their character because how can dog clothes harm their character? Dogs don’t get the uppity attitude that some people can get regarding attire. They don’t think, “OMD, that dog looks like she’s wearing a hand-me-down. What a loser.” Right?

Buying the Best for My Dogs?
Spending money on quality dog food, safety gear, and veterinary care can be seen as spoiling a dog by people who do not do these things for their own pet. But it’s not spoiling them if these things are beneficial.

So if someone tells me I spoil my dogs and they mean I spend a lot of money on them, then yes, I do spoil my dogs. But if someone tells me this and they mean I overdo it to the point of harming my dogs’ characters, then I completely disagree. Maya and Pierson have their faults (who doesn’t). But overall they are very good dogs. Pampered, yes. Spoiled, perhaps by my less harsh definition. Spoiled rotten, no way!

What do you think most people mean whey they say your dog is spoiled?


Does Your Dog Need a Sweater and Boots?

December 28, 2010

Killer the Dog Wearing a Sweater and Boots

Believe it or not, sometimes the answer is yes.  Most of the time it is no.  But sometimes, just sometimes, it is yes.  Let me give you a good example of dogs who do not need a sweater and boots.  Then I will give you an example of a dog who does.

Sephi and Maya are my dogs.  They definitely do not need sweaters or boots.  First of all, both are big energetic dogs.  Sephi is a Chow Chow mix who has a double-coat which is medium in length.  Maya is a Labrador Retriever with short hair but hair which has been bred to keep in warmth.  She also has thick skin.

Killer is my parents’ dog.  He is a Lhasa Apso which is a small dog breed.  Although this breed can have long hair, the hair was bred for cuteness, not warmth.  His hair is thin and his skin is sensitive.  So like most small breed dogs, Killer should probably wear a sweater when he goes outside in the extreme cold.

What about boots?  Do dogs need boots?  In most cases, the answer is no.  But it may be a good idea in the snow.  Balls of ice may get in between a dog’s foot pads and cause pain or injury.  This may be especially true for dogs who have long hair sticking out from the pads of their feet.  But if you check your dog’s feet periodically, you probably won’t need to make them wear boots.  Killer has boots.  It is not just because of the snow and ice which can get trapped between his paw pads.  It is also because Killer won’t go outside in the wet unless he is wearing his boots.  He hates getting his feet wet so my parents got him little doggy boots which he surprisingly loves.  No more messes in the house because he refuses to go outside in the rain or cold!

If you are trying to decide if your dog needs a sweater or boots, first consider the breed.  Most big dog breeds do not need a sweater – even if they have short hair.  However, if your big dog is primarily an outside dog, make sure he at least has a warm place to sleep away from the rain, sleet, and snow.  Likewise, most small dog breeds, even breeds with long hair, may need a sweater.  Review information on the dog breed and see what he was originally bred for.  Most toy dog breeds may need sweaters whereas most sporting dog breeds do not.

Also consider how your dog behaves when he goes outside.  If he has a tendency to shiver or if he is reluctant to go outside, then consider getting him a sweater.  This applies to both big and small dogs.

And lastly, consider how your dog will react with a sweater and/or boots on.  If they hate them, then you will need to take the time to teach them to wear clothes.  To teach a dog to wear dog clothes like dog sweaters and dog boots, praise them whenever they wear it (don’t laugh at them), have them wear clothing only when you are able to supervise, start out with them wearing clothing for very short periods, and distract them with play or other fun things while they are wearing them.