As pet owners, we obviously love our dogs and cats. We buy them treats, groom them, schedule regular vet appointments, and love them to pieces. They are part of our family and it's always heartbreaking when they pass over the rainbow bridge.

Photo by Mia Anderson on Unsplash
Photo by Mia Anderson on Unsplash

Should you stop treating them like humans?

One group of experts is saying we should stop treating our furry friends like humans. According to a report from Oodle Life, a website that provides dog and puppy information, 80% of pet owners in Montana admit to giving their dogs a little extra love over Christmas. It could include feeding them leftovers from the holiday feast or dressing up their dog in cute costumes. Oodle Life founder and CEO Chris Allen says,

However, as much as we love them, it’s important to remember that they’re not actually human, and they shouldn’t be treated as such.

The scientific term for attributing human characteristics to animals is called anthropomorphism, aka 'Disneyfication'. It's an easy thing to do, but experts say you should try to avoid treating your pup like a little human.

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash
Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

Pet strollers, breath mints, silly outfits.

The report gave some examples of what they consider poor pet-owner practices, and why they're not recommended.

Dressing your dog in a sweater. The extra layer can mess with a dog's natural body temperature regulation. However, they say when temps drop below 40 degrees it's okay for most dog breeds to wear a sweater or doggie jacket outdoors. Just make sure it fits well.

Holding and carrying them like a baby.  It seems natural to hold and cuddle puppies or smaller breed dogs like a baby, but they say doing this for extended periods of time "can cause obesity, inflammation of the joints and hinder their ability to cope with their environment, leading to anxiety." Hugging your dog can also cause anxiety issues. Check out the interactive slideshow from Oodle Life below for more tips and advice for making the holidays awesome for both you and your furry friends.

Cat Country 102.9 logo
Get our free mobile app

Created by Oodle-Life • Viewlarger version

Earlier this week, we learned about a fantastic organization called Freckles and Tomcat Rescue. They help provide food for packs of roving, wild dogs on the Reservation. Story and heartbreaking pictures in the link below.

Read More: Packs of Homeless Dogs in Montana Need Our Help

RANKED: Here Are the 63 Smartest Dog Breeds

Does your loyal pup's breed make the list? Read on to see if you'll be bragging to the neighbors about your dog's intellectual prowess the next time you take your fur baby out for a walk. Don't worry: Even if your dog's breed doesn't land on the list, that doesn't mean he's not a good boy--some traits simply can't be measured.

More From Cat Country 102.9