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.

Related article:

Ear cropping. Veterinary profession finally speaks out.

Veterinary profession finally speaks out on ear cropping and banning import of ear cropped dogs.

It has taken sixteen years for the veterinary profession to make a stand over ear cropping.

The UK Veterinary Animal Welfare Coalition announced recently that they are supporting the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and leading animal charities to close all the legal loopholes in the law that allow ear cropped dogs to be imported into the country thus circumventing the ban on ear cropping in the UK.

The loopholes are threefold. It is not illegal to sell, import or take a dog abroad to have their ears cropped which has been the ludicrous situation since the Animal Welfare Act 2004 came into being. The BVA wants UK vets to report any incidents of ear cropping that turn up at their surgeries which should have been happening anyway.

The veterinary profession are only taking more interest because of all the campaigning by animal charities and the present level of public opinion has given them the confidence to do so. They have had sixteen years to point out the shortcomings of the law regarding ear cropping and take a lead on the issue but have kept in the background.

Dog with cropped ears

Vets need to speak out about animal welfare problems.

The veterinary profession themselves have pointed out that they should not sit on the fence over welfare issues or wait until public opinion reaches a point which forces them to live up to their supposed animal welfare credentials. But they continue not to heed their own advice. To quote the BVA Animal Welfare Strategy of 2016:

“If we do not speak out about systemic animal welfare problems or if we only do so reactively once a critical mass of favourable public opinion has been achieved, then this can lead to accusations of weak morality and, worse, complicity in animal welfare problems. There are risks if veterinary professionals are not seen to be advocates for animal interests when the rest of society is increasingly willing to be”.

The moral and ethical conundrum of certain procedures carried out by vets have dogged the profession for decades. A US study way back in 1989 (Herzog) questioned veterinary students on various moral, ethical and welfare issues which they had encountered during training which they felt worried or stressed about and amongst the most prominent were ear cropping, tail docking, de-flighting birds and declawing cats.

There is yet another petition.

It is difficult to gauge how concerned the public are. There was an online petition last year aimed at stopping the import of cropped dogs but this failed to get half of the 100,000 signatures required. There is now a new petition with BVA backing which seems to be faring better which runs until the 24 August 2021. Paradoxically there is also a competing petition to re-legalise cropping to benefit all the dogs that are presently unprofessionally cropped and save them suffering. Sensibly it has not attracted much support so far.

Although everyone is fixated on ear cropping at the moment, tail docking appears to also be on the increase and must have been spotted by UK vets so perhaps they could take a lead on this issue as well?

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