by J. Lee
THE LONELY LIFE OF DOGS
I will never understand those who get a dog or dogs just to abandon them in backyards, basements or garages. Why? So they can tells others they have a dog? The reality is the dog has no human. It is sentenced to a life of loneliness.
Dogs are pack animals. They are highly social. They are socially-cognitive. Loneliness is torture for them. They thrive on interaction with other dogs and their human companions. A dog needs stimulation. They can become stressed when bored.
They can suffer from separation anxiety. When that happens they exhibit behaviors such as destroying their environment by digging holes, biting their leashes and chains, pacing, they develop hypersalivation or they can bark constantly. Sadly what owners create can become a nuisance which often leads to the dog to be abandoned, taken to a shelter or even euthanized.
During puppy socialization humans influence their behavior. They form a bond with people. It is disappointing someone would get a puppy full of life to condemn it to isolation.
EXILED TO THE BACKYARD
Some dogs are left alone in backyards to experience loneliness and fear. If they are not free to roam they can be tied or chained to a tree, a dog house and or to a fence.
The only human contact is when they are brought food and water if they are cared for with basics to sustain them. Some do not get the basics on a regular basis. When they do their excitement for a connection and companionship is quickly over within minutes as their human walks away.
A dog’s sense of smell is 40 times greater than ours. Can you imagine how hard it is for them smell the world around them yet be unable to experience it?
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WINTER AND SUMMER – BRING THEM INSIDE
If you are cold, they are cold. If you are hot, they are hot!
Even with shelter they can experience harsh weather conditions. Sadly not all dogs have shelter. Every years animal control is called to check on the welfare of animals suffering from extreme temperatures.
Some dogs need a higher fat content in their diet. Increased body fat is a natural way to fight cold weather. Dogs are not immune from hypothermia.
pet MD: Low Body Temperature in Dogs – Hypothermia symptoms vary with the level of severity. Mild hypothermia is evident through weakness, shivering, and lack of mental alertness. Moderate hypothermia reveals characteristics such as muscle stiffness, low blood pressure, a stupor-like state, and shallow, slow breathing.
AKC Canine Health Foundation: Dehydration and Overheating in Dogs – Overheated dogs can suffer heat exhaustion, heat stroke or sudden death from cardiac arrhythmias. Panting, followed by disorientation and fast, noisy breathing could signal overheating. Other possible signs: Collapsing or convulsing, bright red or blue gums, vomiting and diarrhea.
American Kennel Club (AKC): Warning Signs of Dehydration in Dogs – Very young dogs, senior dogs, nursing mothers, and toy dog breeds may be at an increased risk of dehydration, so be sure you know the signs of dehydration in dogs if your dog falls into one of these categories.
Guard dogs are used at industrial locations such as a warehouse, salvage yard and a car lot. They live a sad and lonely life. They might or might not have interaction throughout the day. At night they are left alone.
Too many guard dogs are kept in deplorable conditions in dangerous areas. Areas are unkept with the potential for injury. Hazards are everywhere including rusted metal, nails and broken glass.
Some get little care such as basics like a bath or parasite management. Few get medical check-ups outside of a rabies shot or other shots to maintain required county or state dog licenses.
Breeds commonly used are German shepherds, Rottweilers, Bullmastiffs, Komondors and Doberman Pinschers.
Don’t get a dog as a pet if you don’t plan to love it and include it in your family. Don’t ignore it. Dogs should not be a status symbol just to be kept out of sight. Give them more than basic essentials like food and water. Too many neglect to provide shelter for their survival.
If you plan to get a guard dog keep the area they are guarding save for them. Provide some stimulation and another dog to keep it company.