Monday, October 25, 2010

Does It Embarrass Your Dog If You Put Him In A Halloween Costume?

We're less than a week away from Halloween. And with it comes the annual dilemma: Do you want to put an adorable but humiliating costume on your dog?

--The question is, of course, if dogs can feel embarrassment. Different experts have different opinions on the matter. Here's what some of them have to say.

--"The Pet Psychic" Sonya Fitzpatrick: "They feel everything. And they know when people laugh at them. I talk to thousands of animals . . . it really hurts their feelings."

--Another pet psychic, Patrice Ryan: "Pets know they're loved by their owner, and then the owner is allowing people to look at them and have a good laugh. It sends conflicting messages to the pet. So the pet is not really happy with that."

--Val Heart, animal communicator: Val isn't sure if dogs can be embarrassed or not, but, quote, "a lot has to do with the proper training to wear clothes that they've received and the responses or rewards they get when they're wearing it."

--Tamar Geller, animal behaviorist: "Dogs don't like to stand out because of their wild heritage: Wolves singled out from the pack were more susceptible to attack. They've never been taught to associate being dressed up with pleasure."

--Bonnie Beaver, a professor of veterinary medicine at Texas A&M: "If they're unhappy, [they're] probably reacting to the costumes themselves or the limited mobility they have when dressed up."

--The verdict? Four experts are against dressing up your dog . . . although only the psychics think the costumes embarrass the animal. One expert says that if you dress them up, you'd better give them a lot of treats. Now you know.

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