But is our drive to win driving our pets to the edge?
As a pet mother, competition judge, competition contestant and pet rights advocate, I asked around why people do it and if it bothers their pets? This article is not intended to accuse or berate anyone. It is the author's own observations and speculations.
The question is about animal rights. Is our drive to win pageants driving our dogs to the edge?
Other pet parents would say it's only a bit of friendly competition and they would win things for their pets. Others will defend their actions stating they are training the dogs/cats. Still, what do our pets actually feel? Are we really giving them an enjoyable time of are we training them to accept their torture? Here are some tips on making sure we don't make our pets uncomfortable.
(photo from canine commotion, Dar San Agustin and Edge)
- Always make sure your pets are comfortable. Follow the Pet Friendly Couture Code. This means nothing hindering movements, nothing too heavy and nothing dangerous on the dress.
- Make sure we note the signs of agitation. In our excitement, we may fail to notice that our pets are getting stressed. Signs would be whining, heavy breathing, edginess or can't stay put, and aggressive behavior.
- Keeps treats and water within your persons. Don't give them a full meal. In their excitement, they may vomit or excrete it. Treats are there to keep them in line and give them a little snack to tide them over before a full meal. Keep them hydrated to avoid stress. Make sure they pee regularly too.
- Distancia Amigo! If you read this on trucks, you know what it means. In a stressful environment like pageants, fashion shows and other competitions, it's best to keep a safe distance enough to let your pet breathe and not freak out.
- Finally, have fun! Don't let the pressure to win get you. If your pets feel this is all fun and games, they will feel more at ease. If they feel agitation and nervousness, that's what they will mirror.