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Home / Articles / Columnists / Dog World with Tina /   Dog Disservice
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Tuesday, November 3,2020

Dog Disservice

By Tina Valant-Siebelts  
Hurling our dog’s food onto the ground would be easy. It might be fun for them to chase down their kibbly-prey, take longer for them to eat, and we’d have less dishes! However, the risk of them ingesting bacteria, parasites, dirt and who knows what else, far outweighs any benefits. Plus they lick/kiss us and can pass these nasties along to us. Serving our pets from the floor is not the worst thing we can do. There is the issue of using puppy/pee pads. There.

I said it. Pad exceptions include old, ill, special needs dogs, and puppies who have not yet mastered their bodies/environmental cues.

The vast majority of dog breeds/mixes are naturally clean animals. They would not choose to eat/play/sleep/ raise their young where they eliminate. While they may mark boundaries and place scent markers, they don’t want to reside in their squalor. Instinctively, they know it’s not healthy. Poo can be a conglomeration of waste, indigestibles, bacteria, blood and live parasites – nothing you want inside your abode.

Puppies first learn from their canine mama and littermates to eliminate outside. Environmental cues confirm, “Go here,” and may include scents from other animals, physical objects (think hydrant or lamp post) along with lawns, trees and shrubbery By offering a pad, you’re telling them, it’s acceptable to urinate/defecate inside your home. This conflicts with dogs’ natural instincts and behaviors. In addition, you are denying them (and yourself) the physical, mental and emotional benefits of exercise, fresh air and socialization by taking a walk.

Without an outlet to expend energy, bored dogs can become obese, destructive or even aggressive (to other pets/owner). An overweight, understimulated dog is uncomfortable and a candidate for heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, joint degeneration, cancer and a shortened life span.

I was involved in rehoming dogs relinquished from an overpopulated canine household. The family resides in a community with a strict pet limit. So the dogs could never be seen outdoors, leaving a solitary sanitary option: pads. The people meant well, truly loved and cared for these dogs, but denied them a basic daily requirement of being a responsible dog owner: a walk.

One of the top reasons dogs lose their homes is a lack of housetraining: NOT going number one and two outdoors. One dog can use 15,000-plus pads in its lifetime, costing up to $600/ year. Pad dogs can take up to a year to relearn proper elimination locations, and are less adoptable, due to added expense and exposure to pet waste/odor.

Human babies are usually potty-trained at 18-24 months old. As with disposable diapers, there is an ecological concern; same with disposable puppy pads. Nonbiodegradable, plastic, urine/poop, germ-laden, smelly impact burdens already overflowing landfills.

Stop disserving your dog: pitch the pads. Leash up and head out. Your dog, body, wallet and our Earth will thank you!!!

WALKING BENEFITS

• FREE – all it costs is your time

• Dogs deserve daily undivided attention (20 minutes minimum)

• Expends energy, dog less likely to be destructive

• Facilitates better training and leadership

• GREAT exercise for you and your dog

• Socialize with other dogs and people

• A stronger bond forms as you spend time together

• You’ll both make new friends (maybe a love interest)

• Should your dog get out/ lost/stolen, they’re familiar with area

• People associate you with your dog

• Dog less likely to be a door-dasher

• You both will lose weight/ get in better shape

• Extends your dog’s and YOUR life spans

 

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