Monday, September 26, 2011

Why are Dogs Neglected by Their Owners?

Recently I was awarded best answer for the question “Why do People Own Dogs but they Don't Take Care of Them?”. This not an easy question to answer because there are so many reasons why dogs are neglected, and some people do not even realize that they are not taking proper care of their pet.
Many people get dogs without realizing how much work they really are. They see a cute pup, and think it would be rather fun to have a dog, but before too long that pup is huge, and tearing their house apart, and is tossed out to live in the backyard where it digs and barks.

A lot of neglected dog problems start when a parent has given in to their child's begging for a dog.  When the child becomes tired of the dog, or out grow the novelty of owning a dog, the parents may not be willing to pick up the slack. This is something that always troubles me since the adults should have been aware that this does happen and should not have taken on getting a pet they were not willing to help care for. It's pretty much common knowledge that kids really cannot make lifetime commitments to pets.

Eager prospective dog owners often do not do proper breed research when they get a dog, they fail to recognize that different dogs have different lifestyle needs; while one breed of dog is fine at home on the sofa, others need a ton of exercise or mental stimulation to keep them satisfied (and behaved). Some breeds of dog require daily hair brushing or their fur tangles and forms painful mats.

Some people overlook the costs and expenses of dog care. They cut corners. They fail to vaccinate their dog, don't spay or neuter it, do not take it to obedience lessons, and neglect worming and flea control. The dog ends up riddled with parasites, becomes unruly, or starts urinating in the house so the people kick it outside. Again this is failure to plan for the pet.
Overall I do not think that anyone gets a dog with the intent of neglecting it. They simply were over eager and failed to do their homework before getting the dog.

If you are thinking of getting a dog or puppy, you need to:

  • Do Breed Research
  • Calculate the Yearly Cost of a Dog
  • Decide if you have Enough Time for a Dog

If you took on the responsibility of dog ownership you are responsible for training the dog, feeding the dog, making sure the dog is well groomed, and overseeing the mental happiness of the dog. You are responsible for the veterinary needs of the dog for its entire lifetime, so, well... deal with it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Veterinarians are Not Charities

I am so tired of people looking for free help for their sick pets or complaining about the high cost of veterinary care for their pets.

Seriously if you cannot afford vet care, do not get a pet.

Vets are not charities. They paid for education, they should get paid for their time and the equipment needed to help your pet. Veterinarians have many expenses you may not be aware of.

Some veterinarians have their own clinics, others work out of a clinic, or are employed by a vet clinic. They have receptionists to pay, anesthesiologists to pay, kennel staff to pay, and want a wage themselves. There is a lot of expensive equipment in a veterinarian clinic, everything from cages, microscopes, x-ray machines and so forth. They have to pay for their building, land, and taxes.

If your pet requires shots they have to use a new needle every time, plus what ever they use on your pet.

Why should you, a pet owner, assume that the vet should do this at, or below, their cost? Why should they be held any different than another professional?

A veterinarian is often on call, their meals could be interrupted at any time. Livestock vets hardly get any sleep during calving, lambing, and foaling, seasons as they are often called at night to attend an animal in distress, shouldn't this be worth more? Their weekends are often broken up with emergency calls and sometimes with calls from people who simply didn't want to call on Friday and decided to wait to see if their pet got better, only to have it get worse after hours.

Nobody forces you to have a pet, and if you do have a pet out of a medical need, that pet, and its medical bills, are tax deductible.

There is no excuse for anyone who gets a puppy or kitten to say they cannot afford veterinary care for that animal and to then complain about the cost. “Why are vets so expensive?” should not even be a thought.

Unless you yourself work in a charity as a volunteer you should not expect others to work for free. Veterinarian care is not cheap, and rarely free, veterinarian's are people who have jobs they deserve to be paid for, so well... deal with it.

Other Reading

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Pets do Not Wander Off to Die

Recently I had somebody tell me a story of their cat. They said their cat was sick and old, and one day it just wandered off to die. What? This person genuinely believed that their sick and old cat wandered off to spare them from having to see it suffer any more.

Sick, old, or suffering, pets might wander off and die... but pets do not wander of to die.
Pets do not give a shit if you feel good about watching them die or not. A pet that is sick and suffering simply wants go feel better, it hides because it wants to feel safe, not because it cares about your feelings. It knows it is weak and vulnerable. The pet is hiding so other animals don't beat the living daylights out of it as some animals are prone to do, including feral animals as well as wild ones such as foxes, coyotes, and raccoons.

If your cat is sick and old what the heck are you even doing letting the poor thing out of your house? Take it to a veterinarian for proper treatment, or euthanasia even. Keep it indoors so it is comfy and can recover and be safe. Would you kick out your dear old ailing grandmother and let her wander off to die?

Maybe some people are just too stupid to realize that sick, old, or dying pets, can be cared for, and should not be left to suffer alone.

Most pets who “wander off to die” hide and die of dehydration or starvation, having become too weak to leave their sheltered spot to find food or water. They may lie there for days before the end finally comes. In some cases these animals would have had a chance at life if only their owner got help for them.

I recall one half dead cat that my sister and I found, she was so thin that when we took her to the SPCA they immediately directed us to take her to the veterinarian. The poor cat had a bone stuck in her throat, the owner just assumed the cat dropped weight due to age and had wandered off to die. In truth the cat was dying because the owner neglected it.

If your pet is old it is up to you to make its final days more comfortable, letting it wander the streets aimlessly (many senior pets suffer from dementia) just shows a lack of compassion, and I would question how much such a person really “loves their pet”.

If you own a pet that is sick or old, turning your back on it to let it suffer and die is neglect. People who do such are pathetic and if they call themselves a pet lover after committing such a crime they should be ashamed of themselves. If your pet is old and dying you need to care for it and keep it in your home even if this means you have to watch it die, and may have to deal with the body. This is the part of pet ownership that sucks for all of use but to escape your responsibility by ignoring the plight of your pet is cruel.

If your old pet is missing, get out there and look for it!

Pets do not wander off to die, they do not run away from home to spare your feelings, they do not wander off to save you a few dollars at the veterinarian. They wander off because you didn't care enough to keep them in your home. If your pet is dying well... do something.. and well... deal with it.