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Top 4 Reasons Dog Owners Abandon Their Canines

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Dogs make ideal companions. They're loyal, and will remain so throughout their lives, protecting you, your family, and your home. This is one of the reasons it is heartbreaking when owners make the decision to abandon their pets. In some cases, they'll leave them with animal shelters, consigning them to the possibility of being euthanized. In other cases, owners simply desert their pets, forcing them to find food and shelter on their own. This can lead to a fate even worse than euthanization.

Even though caring for a canine offers a rewarding experience that will enrich your life, ownership poses responsibilities. When times get tough, it's important to resist the temptation to set them aside. Below, we'll take a look at the 4 most common problems that spur people to abandon their dogs. We'll also offer a few alternative solutions.

I'm Innocent, I Tell Ya by Joe Duty

1 - "My Pet Is Too High-Maintenance"
Many people adopt puppies because they're cute and playful. But just as an infant develops into a toddler, and eventually a teenager, a puppy will become an adult. Along the way, he may pick up habits that irritate you. He may start to bark excessively, jump on people, or develop severe separation anxiety. Depending on the extent of the behavioral issues, many owners lose patience, and become willing to admit defeat. The next step is abandonment.

First, realize that your pet's annoying habits are nearly always a reflection of the training he received. Problem behaviors can usually be curbed or shaped with the right approach.

2 - "I'm Too Sick To Take Care Of My Dog"
Owners sometimes become too sick to properly care for their canines. So, they decide to give up their pets to animal shelters. Given the odds of a dog being euthanized due to lack of space at such facilities, there are usually better options available.

If you are ill and cannot take care of your canine, check with your family members and friends. They may welcome the chance to adopt your pet. Also, speak with your dog's veterinarian regarding whether other customers would be interested in adopting your canine. Some may be willing to do so since he will already be housetrained, and his veterinarian can vouch for his health.

3 - "Caring For My Dog Is Beyond My Budget"
To be sure, taking care of your pooch can be expensive. This is the reason you should make a list of the annual expenses related to ownership. Such expenses should include veterinary care, food, toys, treats, grooming supplies, and other essentials.

If you find that you are unable to afford the basics, look for less-costly alternatives before you decide to abandon your canine. For example, a low-cost veterinary clinic may be available in your area; you may be able to eliminate some nonessential items from your purchase list; and you might be able to save money by buying dog food, grooming supplies, and other items in bulk.

4 - "I'm Starting A Family"
A lot of people think they need to get rid of their canines when they are expecting a baby. They believe having a dog in the home in the presence of an infant is dangerous. With the right approach, however, your pet can play a valuable role in your child's early development.

The key is to provide plenty of supervised interaction. If your canine has exposure to your child, and understands your child has more authority than him in his "pack," he will yield. Plus, as the child grows, he'll likely form an unbreakable bond with your dog.

There are valid reasons to give up your canine. If you have a terminal illness, or an affliction that makes it impossible to provide sufficient care, there's little you can do except find a good home for him. But avoid making the decision lightly. After all, your dog considers you his best friend.

About the Author
Written by Lawrence Reaves
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