Owners should make sure they walk their pooch on its dog collar and lead rather than carrying it around in a handbag, as celebrities such as Paris Hilton do.
Neil Martin, manager at Bleakholt Animal Sanctuary, in Edenfield, spoke to the Lancashire Telegraph about the damage putting a dog in a handbag can cause.
He was commenting specifically about one owner who used her Chihuahua, Camilla, as a fashion accessory.
"She has been treated like a fashion accessory then dumped because her owners could not be bothered to help her.
"Dogs are not meant to be carried around in a bag and do not learn to socialise if they are always hemmed in.
"Camilla is suffering from some sort of allergy which is causing her to lose her fur," Mr Martin told the news provider.
Pictures of Paris Hilton carrying her dog in a handbag led to a number of fashion designers to create bags specifically for this reason.