Treating Dogs Like Humans Is Animal Abuse

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I am generally of the opinion that living a life of make-belief is not a good thing. Regardless weather your fantasy world is good or bad, gloomy or happy, taking an extended detour from reality will eventually lead to disaster. Lately some of us have been leaving reality behind and taking our dogs along for the ride:

“Dylan, our beloved cocker spaniel-poodle cross, together with his little “sister” Delilah (golden retriever crossed with a poodle) they are the apples of our eyes.

We laud their achievements, put their pictures up on Facebook, and snuggle on the sofa with them to watch TV. We treat them like humans.

And we’re not alone. Lady Gaga apparently takes her “baby”, canine fluffball Fozzi, into the bath, while a survey found six out of ten dog owners let their pets sleep in their beds — despite the fact that more than half say the inevitable snuffling, scratching, and, God forbid, breaking wind disrupts their sleep.

Now it seems dogs are not merely man’s best friend, but man’s best-dressed friend, too. Hit website styletails.com targets pet owners who “see their dogs as an extension of their own style”. It advises on how to co-ordinate your canine with your ensemble and features shots of stylish hounds in coats or sunglasses.

Dogs are hot right now. There are dogs with blogs (Andy Murray’s pooch Maggie May tweeted throughout Wimbledon), dogs with massive Facebook followings (Boo, who boasts two million fans and has inspired a book on his life), celebrity dogs who have their own fans (Jonathan Ross’s French Bulldog Mr Snowball, who regularly Tweets ‘Woof’) and dogs who rule supreme as the kings of bling (David Walliams and Lara Stone’s beloved puppy Bert donned a tuxedo for Elton John’s White Tie & Tiara Ball). There are even dogs who get their hair dyed this season’s on-trend hue, hot pink (Emma Watson’s dog Darcey).”

The tragedy of course is that dog are not four-legged people and will neither appreciate nor benefit from being treated as such. Some of the ‘endearing’ behaviors such as dog dyeing border on animal abuse. Others, such as sleeping dogs in beds will often lead to problem behaviors.

We all love dogs but we must remember that they are dogs, not people. And nothing benefits dogs more then being treated as such.

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About Dr Vadim Chelom

Dr Vadim Chelom is a Registered Veterinarian, a writer and an educator

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