Pet humanisation, the pet trade and fam-jams.

The trend of pet humanisation is making billions for the pet trade and other retailers as they manipulate gullible pet owners to buy unnecessary items like pet pyjamas.

Trends and fads concerning pets come and go, as and when we get bored with them. The most recent fad to pique our interest this Christmas is to dress the whole family including the family pets in matching pyjamas or loungewear. Why? Who knows, but the worldwide pet industry particularly China, the USA and UK is making billions because of pet humanisation.

Not a year goes by without our poor pets being burdened with a new fad created to satisfy our misplaced force majeure or compulsion to demonstrate our love for them. Dogs, our supposedly bested friends that we love so much, tend to endure most of this selfish desire on our part.

Most are fuelled by social media and patronised sadly by our celebrity role models. This idea stemmed from last Christmas when family sets of PJs were on offer, and it did not take long for marketing brains to come up with the idea of including our other family members.

Retailers quick to cash in on our eccentricities.

UK Retailers like Next, Gap, Primark and Pets at Home have all jumped in providing matching festive family PJs sets for animals referred to as ‘Fam Jams’. With the help of Instagram they will no doubt become a short-lived hit. And as with all these types of fads, animal welfare and rights campaigners are outraged. But their protests are always ignored as they are viewed as spoil sports with no sense of humour as its only a bit of fun – isn’t it?

Unfortunately, most of these fads sadly tend to belittle our pets in some way and are done purely for our amusement by supposedly making them look cuter, rather than bringing any benefit to the animals.

Retailers and pet accessory industry have always been adept and quick to cash in on our love for our pets particularly our beloved dogs. Over the years they have invested in market analysts, designers, psychologists and behaviourists to guide them on the best course of action to provide for our whims.

A few years ago they were quick to notice an emerging trend of pet owners who wanted to treat their pets as equal members of the family, little people or surrogate babies and give them similar diets, presents and lifestyles.

Pet Humanisation – an awesome opportunity.

The pet trade soon dubbed this trend “pet humanisation” which they define as:

“Pet humanisation is a natural expression of the “pets as family” trend, whereby pet owners treat their pets like children and are highly receptive to products similar to the ones they use for themselves.”

Petprofessional.com.au

And encourage ‘pet-preneurs‘ to cash in as the:

fur baby phenomenon is providing an awesome opportunity for those ‘pet-preneurs’ willing to take a risk on a new pet product idea.

And so the trade is gleefully obliging us by  producing birthday and Christmas presents, designer outfits, automated food dispensers, mouthwash and even electric toothbrushes and companies can even arrange glittering parties.

Dog, pet humanisation,designer clothes, dressing up animals, animal ethics

Pet humanisation is now the main driving force of pet trade profits.

It is now the main market driver bringing them great riches and is yet another reason the industry is one of the few that avoids all the slowdowns in the world economy and continues to increase its sales and profit margins year after year. Investors rush to get into the market because they know that pet owners are extremely eccentric in their behaviour and easy to manipulate to quickly part with money on fads and crazes.

Behind the scenes they are no doubt having a good laugh as they take all this money out of the pockets of gullible pet owners with perhaps too much love for their animals. It seems sad that we insist on falling for this retail manipulation when it does not benefit our animals in any way.

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Creative dog grooming out of control.

Judging by some of the outlandish mutilations of dogs on TV programs such as Pooch Perfect and social media, creative dog grooming appears to be getting out of control.

Judging by some of the outlandish mutilations of dogs on TV and social media, creative dog grooming appears to be getting out of control. I cannot understand how any dog owner who sincerely has any love or respect for their supposed best friend could allow them to be put through such humiliation, but then I am just a dog lover myself and obviously do not “get it” or understand this phenomenon.

Creative dog grooming has been around since the sixties and its invention is blamed on the age of the hippies who coloured and dressed their pets. It is not new as the UK has held a championship for many years and the USA since 1973 but it is only recently that it has become more outrageous.

Turning dogs into another animal.

Creative dog grooming is described as a way for groomers to deviate from breed profile grooms by using colour dyes, extensions and carving in order to turn a dog into another animal or famous character. It has become a very profitable service for professional groomers, but like many crazes, things get out of hand when social media and TV step in and everyone loses sight of the animals involved.

It was sadly a UK nation of dog lover’s company, Beyond Productions, that came up with the idea, modelled on Strictly Come Dancing and Singing contests with a panel of judges. It is obviously destined to become a global franchise. Australia’s Seven Network has a version and ABC in the USA  has ten groomers competing in a serious of “outrageous themed challenges”.

Celebrates our love of dogs.

The UK version “Pooch Perfect” hasn’t quite stooped this low so far in our attitude to dogs but give it time. It’s Facebook page states that the program ‘celebrates the nation’s love of dogs’, but it seems a strange way of showing it. They also insist their groomers must let their imagination off the lead when they give four curly coated canines a cute teddy bear trim. Note the pun there.

Even the mainstream media see no harm in it with quotes such as “Ever thought your dog wasn’t jazzy enough, and that maybe with a pair of scissors and a tin of spray paint you could have the best looking mutt in town”.

Audiences lapping up creative dog grooming.

There is no shortage of owners willing to put their dogs forward for this humiliation and have a chance of getting on TV and audiences are lapping it up judging by comments on social media and the show’s website. American owners are willing to do whatever it takes to make their dogs the wackiest in attempting to win $5,000. There is even a veterinarian on the panel of the judges, so the veterinary profession must believe its harmless. Really?

It will not be long,  I am sure, when we will be back in the good old days of the circus and have barking contests, beauty shows, dressing up shows and dogs doing tricks on TV. Am I missing something here? Is it really just good fun? Am I just being an old grouch or is it a sign that we have fundamentally lost sight of our respect for animals?

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