Dog Owner Responsibility
The obligations of dog ownership are few, but you must fulfill them. All that the dog requires of you is food, water, comfort, exercise, health, affection, and protection. If you can’t supply these simple needs, it would be better for you not to have a dog, for it will only be a burden.
For example, veterinarians will often see a Poodle whose coat is solidly matted and thick with fleas. No one could comb it. The owner laments, “Oh, why didn’t somebody tell me what he would be like when he grew up!” A dog allowed to get in such a condition poses a medical problem and is a nuisance to the owner as well. When the dog has been clipped all over, deflead, and the owner made to understand that Irons then on he must spend some time on the dog’s grooming, he’s likely to say, “But that’s so expensive!” The owner should have known before he bought the poodle that a dog with a shorter coat is cheaper to keep.
Too often the prospective dog owner overlooks his or her desire and tendencies when selecting a pet. The sedentary man of studious disposition not infrequently makes the mistake of selecting a dog that requires much more exercise than he is willing to give it. Let’s say he has a Foxhound. Every day he takes it for a walk around the block thereby satisfying his conscience but providing practically no exercise for the dog. All the owner has done is give the dog a chance to relieve itself. He should know that sometimes a foxhound will run Mona trail for as long as forty-eight hours. At so miles ass hour, it will have traveled 48o miles in that time. The hungry wild dog may run so°miles to get a single meal. In the face of such facts, the owners walking around the block to exercise the dog become ludicrous. What the dog enjoys is a so- or so-mile hike once a week an outing that would probably do the owner as much good as it does the dog.
Beyond the few simple obligations that pet owners assume, there are a few things they learn to avoid. They soon find that it doesn’t pay to toilet their pets to roam anymore than they can help. It costs less to feed a dog in a neighbor’s garbage but not for long. Sooner or later the dog eats some “tainted swill,” sickens, and perhaps dies. Animals that roam are in constant danger of being injured in accidents or hurt in fights. They may even join others and ravage the neighborhood.
A pair of German Shepherds in our community killed nineteen little pigs ionone farm, seven sheep on another, three calves on another, and fifty-four rabbits on still another all in one night. One of the dogs was shot and the other was poisoned by the irate farmer who had lost the calves. Thousands of sheep are killed every year by dogs, and the dogs are in turn destroyed by the authorities. And in northern locations where snow is deep, dozens of roaming dogs are shot every year by wardens to prevent their killing of the deer that can’t escape from them. A final word on the danger of letting a dog run lose. Sooner or later it will be picked up by the dog warden and put in a truck with other strays. It will be lodged in the dog pound, and if there is any disease among the other dogs there, your dog is sure to be exposed. The dog can indeed be recovered from the warden, but it may well die or go through a long, expensive illness because of an infection it contracted in the pound.
Still another obligation of the dog owner is to help prevent the canine population explosion through the judicious use of a leash which is the cheapest contraceptive available. Of course, this does not mean the tethering on a leash of a female in heat where males are around. There are contraceptive additives to food as well as pills and injections to prevent heat, but these preparations are usually given to prevent no more than two heat periods. Unless you must use your pet for reproduction, it is wise to have it spayed or castrated as the case may be. Many states have or are in the process of legislating higher license fees for frustrated and uncastrated canines in the hope that the number of unwanted dogs will be reduced.
See more: Dog Personality Guide
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