An Educated Owner is a Dog’s Best Friend

An educated owner is a dog’s best friend. An uneducated one can sentence that same dog to an unhappy life or even death.

In the past few years, there’s been an alarming increase in the number of relinquished and abandoned pets in our country. The reasons for this tragic phenomenon are many, and none of them are a mystery.

But the greatest contributing factor is the failure of dog owners to educate themselves BEFORE they get a pet. If potential owners first armed themselves with the essential ABC’s of animal care, it would help to slow this unfortunate trend and save thousands of innocent lives.

They would know that puppies don’t stay puppies forever; that they grow quickly into dogs.

They would know that puppies must be housetrained promptly and socialized early in order for them to develop into well-behaved and friendly dogs with good bite inhibition.

They would also know that certified trainers and supervised puppy classes can be of crucial assistance to them in raising calm and balanced dogs.

Pet parents seeking the help of knowledgeable trainers are, in effect, working to save their animals’ lives. They will learn everything from perfecting the most basic commands and obedience training with their dogs to participating in numerous activities, including various sports and agility courses together.

Uneducated owners, on the other hand, raise their dogs unassisted and in ignorance. The results, sadly, are untrained, ill-mannered and often dangerous animals. Those who will prove too much for their poorly equipped and frustrated owners to handle. Those who will ultimately be abandoned or deposited at shelters.

To be adopted – and probably returned – by unsuspecting people intent on doing the right thing by not buying from pet stores or unscrupulous breeders.

Or, more than likely, to be euthanized due to overcrowding or their own people-biting or dog-aggressive behaviours. Thereby perpetuating an all-too-familiar and vicious cycle.

And the only way to break this cycle is through education. Education in the schools and in the workplace. Education among the puppy-buying public and throughout the community at large.

Education spread by word of mouth and by the media.

Ignorance never was, nor ever will be, an excuse.

The Ten Commandments of a Pet

It’s so important to remember that our pets have a unique way of seeing the world, and their relationships with us. These are 10 simple guidelines to keep in mind when you’re a pet owner, or want to welcome a new pet into your home.

1. My life is likely to last ten to fifteen years. Any separation from you will be painful for me. Remember that before you acquire me.

2. Give me time to understand what you want from me.

3. Place your trust in me. Remember that before you acquire me.

4. Don’t be angry with me for long and don’t lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, and your entertainment. I only have you.

5. Talk to me sometimes. Even if I don’t understand your words, I understand your voice when it is speaking to me. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget.

6. Remember before you hit me that I have teeth that can easily crush the bones in your hand, but I choose not to bite you.

7. Before you scold me for being uncooperative, obstinate, or lazy, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I don’t understand what you ask of me or perhaps I am not feeling well, not getting the right food, been out in the sun too long, or my heart is getting old and weak.

8. Take care of me when I get old, you too will grow old.

9. Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say ” I can’t bear to watch,” or “let it happen in my absence.” Everything is easier if you are there.

10. Remember, no matter what, that I love you. Unconditionally.