This is a touchy subject, but I refuse to tread lightly.
Modern dogs are possibly the most neglected dogs in history, but not for the reason you would think. Yes, there are starving dogs, homeless dogs, dogs in absolute destitution and deplorable conditions. No, I am not belittling their situation.
However, modern dogs, even the ones living in posh mansions, with all natural diets, and an endless supply of dog toys are some of the most neglected dogs I have ever met. Here’s why.
Modern dogs are suffering from an epidemic of depression and anxiety that we as animal lovers have never experienced before. Modern dogs are neglected by their owners on a higher level than any amount of food or toys could correct. These are the dogs, who sit at home all day in their houses, surrounded by treats and toys, waiting for their parents to spend time with them.
In my previous profession, I was a dog walker and dog daycare attendant. I experienced, first hand, the dogs that are seemingly the most neglected. Although the dogs I was walking received weekly, even daily, exercise, they suffered from depression, separation anxiety, and lack of training and social skills. These dogs were some of the saddest animals I had ever met. Why? Because I spent more time with them than their own parents did.
There is a statistic stating that over 30% of American households have a family dog, but what percentage of those families actually provide necessary care and attention for their animal? Less than you’d imagine, I’m sure!
I have met countless incapable pet parents, who have no idea the truly negative impact they are having on their dog’s life, by simply not spending enough time with them. It’s heartbreaking.
I often find myself wondering why these people even chose to have a dog in the first place.
The reason why many people choose to welcome a dog into their life is selfish. We want something to love us unconditionally, spend time with us, and show us affection when no one else will. Unfortunately, many dog parents aren’t willing to put in the time or effort it takes to raise a loving companion. These dogs end up neglected, fearful, angry, jealous, and often aggressive, due to the fact that they have not been given proper behavioral tools and socialization skills.
Neglected dogs are often high energy and not given with an outlet for exercise. These high energy dogs eventually find themselves in worsening conditions, because their owners are frustrated with their behavior, and dismiss them entirely. No dog deserves to be ignored.
If you are considering adopting a dog, make sure that you are able to dedicate the time and energy for training, maintaining, and supporting a positive relationship. Providing a healthy diet and safe environment isn’t the minimum requirement for parenting, and more people need to understand that.
Before you adopt a dog, ask yourself if you are ready for this commitment. If the answer is no, you will be doing that dog a favour by letting him go to someone else.