Pet dresser-uppers get a dressing down

Tuesday, 15th January 2013

Yesterday (January 14th) was national 'dress up your pet day' in the US, although the debate continues to rage over whether or not it is ok for owners to put fancy dress costumes on their animals.

The event was started four years ago by animal behaviourist Colleen Paige and is sponsored by the Animal Miracle Foundation, although the idea has been criticised by animal rights campaigners around the world, prompting Ms Paige to come out in defence of the initiative.

On the event's website, the founder insists that the day is not intended to "disrespect our pets with uncomfortable, vulgar and/or seasonally inappropriate costumes for the sake of a laugh or photo shoot", as some have feared.

In addition, Ms Paige says the priority for owners should always be pets' comfort and safety when deciding whether or not to dress them, insisting no animal should be forced into a costume if they are clearly not happy to wear it.

Owners should also make sure not to use outfits that could cause pets to overheat, or which compromise their safety in any way.