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Dogs are not Toys

by Jake Grosvenor, Editor-In-Chief

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In the 21st century, dogs are a staple of our society. Their companionship and adorable quirks and breeds have made them one of America’s favorite pets for years. In the media, dogs are portrayed as our best friends, heroes that put their owner’s life before their own and support animals that help those from the blind to people with health issues.

While these domesticated lovers are great to have around the house, it’s often forgotten that dogs are living beings as well and can’t be treated like someone’s personal toy.

Owning a dog is no easy fret, as it takes time and affection to give these furry friends a good life and a even better home, but not everyone understands that.

One of the worst and most common things I’ve witnessed working at a dog grooming shop is people bringing in their dog completely matted.

A matt is when the fur on a dog is basically tangled in a knot, and after a while, if these knots aren’t combed, they grow and grow until their entire fur is one big knot that pulls and hurts the dog’s skin.

These matts are very easy to avoid, yet so many people bring their dog in matted and in pain from the neglect. All it takes to avoid matting is to properly brush your dog at least a few times a week, and to comb them after a bath and avoiding drying them with a towel. Proper brushing and not drying with a towel can prevent matts, and it seems a lot of dog owners seem to care less, and they let their dog get to a point of no return where they have to be shaved.

What’s even worse is there is no way to punish these people who neglect to take basic care of their companion. If a dog is matted beyond belief, there is no way to take that dog from them for neglect because most forms of animal control consider taking the dog to groomer, even if it’s too late, an effort warrant enough of keeping the dog.

This is not just wrong, but it’s also abuse. These matts are painful and can hurt dogs while they have them, and getting them out is just as bad for them.

Another reason so many dogs come in atrociously matted is because owners think dressing their dog is cute and funny, when in reality, it causes matts and puts them in even more pain. More times than not, owners bring in their dog wearing a sweater, and when told by a groomer that they need to stop putting these sweaters on their dog all the time to avoid matts, and that it should only be used if going outside in the cold, they get upset.

So many people ignore and even argue that their dog can wear the sweater, when a professional tells them that it hurts them.

Beyond matts, people also seem to forget that dogs can not be treated with the same products and care like humans. Dogs bodies and fur are completely different from humans and this isn’t something that people can ignore.

A recent photo surfaced in late January showing a five year old Maltese puppy badly burned from human hair dye being used on their fur. The dog was so badly burned it had to go to a vet and be treated for burns and other serious reactions from the dye.

The young dog’s eyes were swollen shut, she was limping and had to be shaved to assess the serious degree of burns she suffered. She was in such bad condition that vets thought she wouldn’t make it through the night, all because her owner wanted to dye her purple with human hair dye, instead of going to a professional to get it done with the proper dye and procedure.

As wonderful as pets can be with their never ending love, there is a serious aspect that we as people need to recognize when owning any kind of pet.

While pet stores make it easy to get buy animals with their poor ethics of selling dogs and other pets like property instead of living things, with little to no background check to ensure a safe home for these animals. the potential owner of said pet needs to check themselves to make sure they can cover the cost of owning said pet.

It’s no rarity that an owner comes in and when asked how often they brush their dog, they admit to not even owning a brush for the dog.

While pets may not walk or talk like us, and while they can’t file papers or get a job, they are no less a living thing than us, and they need the proper care like any human needs. It’s time pets for pets to stop being seen as toys and products for dress up and as the actual living beings they are.

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