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Dogs Feel Silly In Costumes, Apparently…

Animal experts have warned that dogs feel silly when dressed up by their owners in costumes, and can even sense when they are being mocked.

Yes, dogs are often at the heart of family jokes and are known for being teased by their owners, but social media seems to have taken the trend to new levels with millions of comical images now featured online.

Dogs know they are being mocked

From obscene hairstyles, to dyed fur coats and poorly-fitted costumes, our canines are being exposed to a certain level of cruelty during this digital phenomenon, and animal charities have hit back at owners - asking them to put an end to it.

They claim that dogs have an understanding of when they are being laughed at, which could further take effect on their attitudes towards their owners. We are all aware that pooches use signals to tell us how they’re feeling, but could the internet trend stop them expressing themselves?

Dr Samantha Gaines, a pet behaviour and welfare specialist at the RSPCA, said fancy dress costumes or even the odd novelty item can leave animals feeling scared or confused. She said "For some dogs being in a costume can be particularly scary, or worrying, especially if there are bits on the costume that the dog isn't used to that are flapping around."

'Dogs use signals to tell us what they're feeling, they use their ears, their tails, body positions and their eyes.

'If we start to cover those up it makes it very difficult for them to communicate with us and other dogs.'

Dog groomers have somewhat taken the harshest criticism, with show-dogs being exposed for their brightly coloured coats and elaborate fur shapes. The recent movements have prompted concern from animal rights groups, who have condemned the fact that dogs are not toys and should be treated properly.

The colour-dyeing procedures used by groomers are said to be causing discomfort and irritation to the pups, which is deemed unnecessary. Paula Boyden, of Dogs Trust, has voiced her concerns in regards to the events, stating: “It’s important that dog owners, and groomers, remember that dogs are not fashion accessories to have the latest trend tried out on them. Grooming is for the dog’s needs rather than for the owner’s entertainment.”

Canines are even becoming their own individual entertainment further still on social media, with one in five dogs now given an online account by their households. For those without a personal page, they are heavily featured across their owners for the world to see.

Pets can reach up to millions of followers on digital platforms, with examples such as ‘Bear Coat Tonkey’ at 398,000 followers and ‘The Dogist’ at 2.4million followers, both primarily dog-based Instagram accounts with huge global viewers.

The rising trend may be music to the ears of dog lovers who could happily scroll their newsfeed to indulge in the joyous images of these pooches, but for the animals themselves, is there much joy involved – or has it simply gone too far?

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