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UNLEASHED

Unleashed

I often see dogs at the beach or in dog parks on a leash, and I wonder why their owners feel the need to keep them on a 4” or 6” leash, even in a large, restricted area. I also see owners who don’t let their dogs stop to use the bathroom, or pause to smell something interesting or play with another dog. Most of the time, the dogs aren’t even trained to walk on their leash, and you’ll see their owner tugging on their dog’s neck, trying to make it listen.

I cannot tell you how much this irks me, mostly because I have put myself if the dog’s paws – and that makes me feel as trapped and as hurt as they do.

Because of my job at Neo-Paws, I travel around the world quite a bit, and I’ve seen a lot of animal neglect.

For the past ten years, possibly longer, people have been breeding and buying dogs because they’re “cute”, and to serve one function – that is, to take away a loneliness that many people suffer from.

To be perfectly honest, owning a dog can be considered a selfish act. That’s because many of us don’t give back to our best friends as we should. We tend to become distracted by our families, work, or other responsibilities. There always seems to be something that keeps us from taking care of Rover the way we should be.

At present, there are no governing laws about who can or cannot own a pet, nor are there restrictions on who can breed or sell pets. Most of the time breeders are selling dogs to people who don’t understand what they are getting into.

Are you taking proper care of your dog?

Ask yourself this:

Does your dog get enough exercise (about 2 hours a day)? Regardless of their size, dogs need to get out, smell, play and mark their territory. They are not hamsters and gerbils – they are dogs.

    1. Does your dog get enough exercise (about 2 hours a day)? Regardless of their size, dogs need to get out, smell, play and mark their territory. They are not hamsters and gerbils – they are dogs.
    2. Does your dog get the opportunity to play with other dogs? Socialization is hugely important, and it keeps them healthy!
    3. Do you feed your dog a high quality dog food loaded with vitamins and minerals that is high in protein?
    4. Do you always remember to keep a bowl full of fresh water around for your dog?
    5. Do you play with your dog every day and show him or her how much she is loved? Do you hug your friend and give him or her lots of praise?
    6. Do you make sure your dog is comfortable and protected in harsh climates and weather conditions?
    7. Do you take your dog to the vet when he or she is sick?
    8. Do you make sure your dog’s eyes are clean?
    9. Do you groom and bather your dog regularly?
    10.  Do you trim you dog’s nails when they get too long?

Owning an animal, any kind of animal, is a big responsibility. I urge any of you who don’t apply these ten basic rules to please make an effort to take care of the one creature who probably loves you the most.