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Has Pet Pampering Gone Too Far?

Pet pampering has reached new heights in recent years. It seems we will go to extreme lengths to ensure our pets are sufficiently spoiled and pampered. We all love our pets and want to take good care of them, but have things been taken a little too far? Pet beauty parlours where your pets can enjoy luxurious spa treatments are popping up all over the country. All sorts of weird and wonderful treatments are being offered, from pet pedicures to pet facials and mud baths, you can get it all.

At what point do we step in and realise things might have gone too far? Or is it all a bit of harmless fun? There are two sides to every story. Some pet pampering treatments are actually beneficial and can help to enhance a pet’s well being. For example, animal massage has similar health benefits to humans, and some spa treatments can help to relieve painful skin conditions. It all depends on the reasons why you are pampering your pooch. If it is purely for their benefit and your pet doesn’t suffer in unnecessarily then there shouldn’t be a problem.

The amount people spend on their pets is on the rise and it doesn’t show any signs of stopping. Some people will even spend more on their pets than they do on themselves. ‘More people treat their pets as a member of the family and are willing to give them nothing but the best.’ says Paula Flores, head of pet care research at Euromonitor. According to The Express, some dog owners spend ‘£10,000 a year on weekly manicures, pedicures plus luxury shampoo and conditioning treatments for their pets.’

The Local Data Company also reports that ‘there has been a near 10% increase in the number of pet shops over the last two years’ It’s not just pet shops, there are also new dog and cat cafes, luxury hotels and beauty parlours for pets opening up in London and around the country.

Do we really need luxury hotels for pets or are they better off in a more natural environment where they can behave normally? Paula Foles, head of pet care research at Euromonitor explains ‘There is a trend towards humanising pets and wanting premium products so the market is still strong.’

Many people believe that pets should not be humanised, and they need to be given the freedom to behave as naturally as possible. Spoiling our pets too much can give them a false perception of the world and in some cases lead to bad habits. Perhaps some of the most pampered pets are little dogs, but giving these dogs too much attention and letting them rule the house can lead to serious behavioural problems. ‘Little dog syndrome’ is common with toy dogs that are treated like humans too much.

Pets are sometimes replacements for children, especially in households without kids. To some people their pet is their whole life and they see no reason why they shouldn’t spoil their best friend. There clearly is a line that shouldn’t be crossed, but where should pet owners draw the line? There is a difference between being pampered and simply well cared for.

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