About 130,000 dogs are abandoned each year in the UK by their owners. Many of these dogs end up in shelters where they have to be put down because they can’t find a home.
They say 12 are picked up every hour and only 5 are reunited with owners.
Stephen Salter asks… just why would anyone abandon their dog?
Sometimes the breakdown of a relationship creates a need to move home or be made homeless suddenly. If you’re not thinking straight and are unable to take care of yourself then you might be in such an awful mental/emotional, physical and/or financial state to not be thinking rationally.
Perhaps the dog in question became to much to cope with or you weren’t able to deal with behavioural issues, veterinary or care demands or face day-to-day responsibilities. In my mind, none of these situational factors are excuses, but perhaps they explain why dogs are abandoned.
If you take on a pet you become their family, their guardian. If you want to relinquish these responsibilities there are rescue centres, rehoming agencies and organisations, friends, family and work colleagues who might be able to help you.
So what’s the answer?
The benefit of hindsight is a wonderful thing. If you are considering owning a dog my advice would be to really research what you’ll need to provide, so you can prepare adequately. Think practically – from making a monthly budget including vets’ bills, food, treats, boarding kennels fees, training clubs etc to from a lifestyle perspective – when will you fit the walks in? Will your dog fit in your car? Will your children like it? Will it be safe around your children and so forth. Nothing beats asking someone who’s already done it. Get them to tell you the highs and lows of dog owning so you can be sure you’re ready for it. Seek experts’ advice. Talk to dog trainers – find out about dog behaviour training in your area and read advice from experts, whether that’s online, in books or magazines.
If you need canine nutritional advice feel free to give me a call on 01728 604475.
Find out the best places to go for a walk in your area, are there any dog friendly parks nearby? Once you’ve prepared and are confident you’re making the right choice then… Congratulations! There is nothing like a dog to remain by your side and be your best friend for life.
But… that’s just it isn’t it? Your dog will be with you from anything between 8 to 18 years and during that time he will only know you. You’ll be everything to him. He’ll rely on you for food, exercise, care, love and attention.
His needs won’t change – unlike a child who may eventually grow up, become independent and move away – he’ll need you his whole life. Make sure you’re ok with that level of commitment before you meet him.