When we initially imagine getting a pet, we think about all the joy and benefit they will bring to our lives: companionship, love, acceptance…but we rarely imagine the importance of the responsibilities that come with owning a pet. Animals have needs, just like humans do; simply feeding your dog does not mean that you are meeting its needs. In fact, dogs especially require a significant amount of attention, time, energy, and love. Dogs are indeed man’s best friends, and we should treat them accordingly. All animals deserve respect and love, especially because they teach us so much about life. Owning a dog isn’t always easy, and sometimes we get inundated with other life challenges that can cause us to forget or be unable to care for our four-legged friends. But how can one know if they are “neglecting” their pet dog? Watch your pet’s behavior closely; they will give you signals that they need more attention. Here are 5 signs to look out for that could indicate that you might be neglecting your dog.
Animals, particularly dogs have personalities; this means that they crave special tasks, interactions, and activities that stimulate their minds. Owning a pet does not have to be a chore, in fact dogs can provide entertainment and fun for entire families at a time. If your pet dog seems lethargic and especially tired all the time, exercise and more activity may be in order. Throughout the day, it is a good idea to give your dog a toy, a bone, go for a walk, or play some fetch in the yard. Getting your dog out of the house routinely is important for your dog’s mental and emotional health. Just as it is important for humans to stimulate their muscles and brains for health and longevity, it is also important for dogs.
The second sign to look out for is signs of sadness and even depression in your dog’s behavior. Yes, we said it: dogs can be depressed. You may not realize it, but your dog has a close bond and connection with you that he does not share with anyone else in the entire world, and doesn’t have the freedom to call up a friend when he’s bored. If your dog tears up your belongings, can’t hold his bladder, or is lackluster about his food lately, you may have a case of doggy depression on your hands. The best way to cure it is to play more with your dog and devote some designated time to giving him some love and attention.
Thirdly, dogs like to send messages to you, and they cannot go ignored. If you come home to your favorite pair of socks ripped apart, or a special surprise inside your favorite pair of shoes, it is likely that your dog is unhappy with your performance lately. Animals have emotional sides to them that need to be nurtured and catered to. If you are not able to dedicate time for your animal, you may want to consider other options or delegate some responsibilities.
Fourthly, neglecting your dog doesn’t have to be limited to spending them with them, however. There can be physical signs of neglect such as your dog’s weight; if he is too heavy or too thin, that is a good indication that something is off with the amount of food he is consuming, or possibly may not be getting enough exercise. Another physical sign that your dog is not getting enough attention is that his nails may be longer than average. If your dog’s nails seem long, then that implies that his nails are not being ground on pavement on regular walks.
Fifth, if your dog is having trouble getting interested in his kibble, it’s possible that it’s due to depression or emotional unrest. Your dogs are in a relationship with you and need your love and devotion. Make sure to schedule time in your busy workweek to play with your dog; it can be a great opportunity for you to unwind and enjoy some fresh air as well. It is important that we do not forget the initial reasons why we wanted a pet and honor them for the joy they bring to our lives by returning the favor.