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Costumes no treat for pets

Updated: November 27, 2011 1:22PM

Q. Recently I was browsing a dog magazine. One stinker turned me off: “How To Get Your Dog Into A Halloween Costume.” What’s your stand on Halloween costumes for dogs?

A. Why do people torment the dear beasts by forcing them to wear silly garments? Dogs are not human children. Why would a magazine dedicated to canines even write about this? Probably because dog costumes make a lot of money in a pet industry estimated to generate $50.84 billion in 2011, according to the American Pet Products Manufacturing Association, a trade group.

Woofers of all sizes are nudists by nature and want to wear their birthday suits on Halloween. Actually, if a dog must wear anything on the ghouls’ holiday, neckwear — a cute scarf, bowtie, flashing ruff of orange and black — will do the trick nicely since pet dogs are already accustomed to neck restriction from their everyday collars.

Q. Before she died unexpectedly, my late daughter adopted an Australian shepherd, Dos, from her fiance’s mother. The dog spent a lot of time at our house and I decided to adopt a dog from the same litter, Koda, a wonderful pet.

Koda and Dos do not get along now. They go after each other immediately. Dos is still intact and I cannot convince my daughter’s former fiance to neuter him. Is there any chance they will eventually be friends?

A. The dogs, from the same litter, should be able to work out their differences if they are properly socialized, although the fact one is neutered and one is not weighs heavily in their relations.

You and your daughter’s former fiance must have bigger issues, which start with the reasons he won’t do the responsible thing and fix his dog Dos. Why not suggest a walk together, with both dogs, and start the conversation. Snappish dogs do much better together when they are on neutral turf, preferably outdoors and on leashes.

Q. In a column on fleas, you said, “Maybe your home has a few flying around.” Fleas crawl and hop but don’t fly. Pets can pick them up outside anywhere other animals can go.

A. Thanks for the flea tutorial. Dog Lady just assumed the little buggers flew. See your veterinarian if your dog itches because of bugs hopping or crawling about.

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