A darker storyline emerges, one that examines the boundary between love and addiction, in the glitzy realm of pet couture, where diamond-encrusted collars gleam as brightly as the runway lights. I have personally observed the industry's rise to global prominence as a pioneer in Philippine pet fashion. A troubling tendency has developed—or even degenerated—into a display of excess and, perhaps, exploitation, yet, under the surface of this dazzling enterprise. This phenomena, which I call "Munchausen by Doggy," highlights the fact that some pet owners would go to tremendous measures, frequently endangering their pets' health, just to enjoy looking at their decorated pets.
Do you Know How Much Glamor Weighs?
To guarantee the comfort and safety of dogs, pet groups have long pushed for a weight guideline of 20-30% of the pet's body weight for clothes and accessories. However, the extravagant accessories for pets also increased in price as the pet fashion business grew. These days, even little dog breeds like Chihuahuas can have accessories like diamond-encrusted collars that weigh the same as the dogs themselves. Aside from redefining what it means to dress a pet in style, this trend toward excess has sparked serious worries about the strain on the bodies of the animals shown in these shows of wealth.
As a result of the pressure to wow onlookers and judges, many pets undergo extensive training to ensure they look their best on the runway. More and more people are reporting that their trained dogs can walk on command, even when they're hot and heavy from wearing their clothes. The boundary between exhibiting brutality and the ceaseless goal of theatrical perfection is called into doubt by these ethical considerations.
Some pet owners use social media as a way to get help when their pets are sick, hurt, or distressed as a result of their excesses, and they also use it to get attention and compassion from others. Like the mental illness Munchausen by Proxy, but applied to dogs, this online uproar frequently makes it hard to tell if people are really worried about their pets' health or are just trying to get social approval.
The dogs are the show stoppers, but they have no say in the matter as they were never asked to participate in the pageant. These creatures don't worry about awards or recognition like humans in the fashion and beauty industries; they simply want to make their caretakers happy. This brings up an important point: at what point does the need for public adulation and aesthetic perfection become exploitative?