5 Reasons Why Dogs are Abandoned
Pug, Dalmation, Alaskan Malamute, Basenji, Bull Terrier, Dachshund … what do these pure breeds all have in common? Well they all have rescue sites devoted to them – and there are of course, too many more to mention.
It begs the question – how on earth do these lovely dogs, which in some cases cost thousands of dollars, end up in a rescue situation?
Well, here are some common reasons why pets end up abandoned. Most of them are avoidable, or can be fixed.
- By far the most common reason is Behavioural Issues. Dogs are not born with behavioural issues, like us humans, they can be created through their experiences. Of course, they can be serious – like biting and being aggressive. But it is more often things like destructiveness, barking or toileting issues that cause people to give up their pet. Most behavioural issues www.causeforpaws.com.au/dogs-deserve-to-make-choices can be solved with time, patience, understanding and a good trainer to give you guidance.
- Moving is often cited as a reason, with problems like “the landlord doesn’t accept pets”, “no space for the dog”. Whilst these may valid reasons for giving up a pet, responsible pet owners would generally try to rehome their pet rather than give it to a shelter. It has also been found that more than half the people surrendering animals because of moving also report behavioural issues. In other words, the move often isn’t the real issue.
- Lifestyle changes are a common reason given for abandoning a pet. For example, a new baby (the dog is the baby until the real baby comes along!), divorce, a new demanding job with travel, job loss could all mean there is no room or time left for the four-legged family member. Not everything in life is predictable, but when you take on a new pet it comes with responsibilities, and that means taking care of it, or making sure it is taken care of, for life.
- Health – a pet in the home can trigger an allergic reaction for some people – but there are ways of treating and managing this. There are dog (and cat) breeds that don’t shed hair and cause this problem – this highlights the importance of doing research up front so that pets are chosen that fit with a family’s needs. Check out the information about breeds that don’t make you sneeze! https://www.petsecure.com.au/pet-care/dog-breed-series-part-1-low-allergenic-dog-breeds/ to find out more.
The saddest reason though is when someone is too ill to look after a pet – maybe an elderly person who must move to a care facility, and the pet (who may also be elderly) ends up in the pound. They are ill equipped to deal with this situation and get passed by from potential adopters. There are rescue organisations such as Golden Oldies Animal Rescue http://www.goldenoldiesanimalrescue.com.au who are dedicated to the rescuing and rehoming of old souls, and can help with foster care and seeking adoption for older pets in this situation, but again it highlights the importance of planning when you have a pet.
- The cost of a dog is not just how much is paid when it is brought home. There are ongoing costs for regular vet care, food, boarding fees, toys, bedding and of course the reality that at some time or the other the pet will get ill or injured and require serious vet care – which can go on for years. This can be crippling financially, unless there is pet insurance https://www.petsecure.com.au/compare in place that can help with these costs. Again, if this is understood up front, then pet owners can plan for the expenses and ensure they can manage them for the long term.
The common theme is that the dog is not the problem. The dog is simply a victim of pet-owners who are unequipped and have not understood what it takes to have a pet over the long term, or have unfortunate circumstances that gives them absolutely no alternative.
Planning and research is the key. Considering all aspects of your current and future lifestyle and the type of dog that will work for your family, in the long term. Check out the pet selector https://www.pedigree.com.au/dog-breed-information/breed-selector/> to get you started on your journey!
This article has been provided by Liz Walden. Liz has a passion for all things cat and dog, and 11 years ago, was one of the first in Australia to bring Pet Insurance to the market. She has headed up Petsecure Pet Insurance www.petsecure.com.au for the past 11 years, and is committed to promoting and supporting responsible pet ownership, and the amazing work done by rescue groups around Australia, who work to promote a better life for all animals.