Every time I stop by my local Petsmart store to buy kibble, I can't help but notice the explosion in the sheer number and variety of dog outfits on display. This trend really reached the tipping point for me when I saw that they had a sale on winter fashions that were about to go out of season and they needed to make room for the spring collection! If you go to the Petsmart website, they have the several departments for dog clothes including dresses, holiday apparel, pajamas, sweaters & coats, t-shirts, and costumes including a Princess Leia outfit that epitomizes the height of anthropomorphic madness. This pet fashion craze clearly isn't just about protecting Fluffy against frigid weather.
Then the trend truly jumped the shark in my mind when I saw that there were decorative harnesses and outfits for ferrets as well. "Great for Special Occasions" says the Marshall Pet Fashions tag that shows ferrets sporting a leather jacket, tie-dyed shirt, or Santa outfit. Interesting to wonder what constitutes a special occasion for a ferret.
Of course the ads are really speaking to the pet owners. This trend feels like a convergence of several social forces: kids as status symbols, pets as family members, pets as an expression of individuality, fashionistas carrying little dogs in handbags, and our general American preoccupation with buying stuff.… Read more