‘A Pet Owner Must Know the Needs & Nature of Adopted Breed’

Sanjay Mohapatra, an animal rights activist in Noida who runs a free dispensary for strays, says most owners buy pure breeds without knowing the responsibilities it carries. His views:

In recent years, there has been a raging trend of people buying and adopting pure breed dogs without being fully aware of their needs. This careless approach to pet ownership has resulted in a disturbing trend of dogs being abandoned, neglected, and unfairly labeled as aggressive.

The desire for certain breeds of dogs has skyrocketed due to various factors, such as celebrity endorsements, social media trends, status symbol, and a misguided belief that pure breed dogs are superior. However, many people fail to realize that each breed has its unique set of requirements and characteristics. Ignorance regarding a breed’s needs can lead to serious consequences for both the dog and the owner.

One of the most disheartening outcomes of this trend is the abandonment of these dogs. When people purchase or adopt pure breed dogs without fully understanding their needs, they often find themselves overwhelmed by the responsibility. These individuals may not have the time, resource, or knowledge required to properly care for a specific breed. As a result, they make the heartbreaking decision to abandon the dog, leaving it to fend for itself or ending up in overcrowded animal shelters.

Abandonment is not the only issue these dogs face. Many are left malnourished and neglected due to the lack of proper care and attention from their owners. Dogs require a balanced diet, regular exercise/walks, grooming, and vet visits to ensure their well-being.

Mohapatra runs House of Stray Animals, a free vet dispensary, in Noida

Without these essential components, their physical health deteriorates, leading to malnourishment, weight loss, and a weakened immune system. Neglected dogs may also suffer from untreated injuries or diseases, further jeopardizing their overall health.

ALSO READ: ‘Don’t Judge A Pit Bull By One Stray Incident’

Perhaps one of the most unfair consequences of this epidemic is the labeling of these dogs as aggressive. When a dog is not properly socialized or trained, undesirable behavior issues can occur. It is essential to remember that aggression is not an inherent trait of any specific breed. Dogs labeled as aggressive are often victims of neglect, fear, or mistreatment. By abandoning these dogs and failing to educate themselves on proper training techniques, owners perpetuate the stereotype that certain breeds are inherently dangerous.

Prospective dog owners must take the time to research and learn about the breed they are interested in before bringing a dog into their home. Understanding a breed’s exercise requirements, grooming needs, and personality traits is essential in ensuring a successful and fulfilling relationship with a dog.

Enforcing stricter regulations on breeders can help ensure that they prioritize the ethical treatment and well-being of the animals. Mandatory information on breed traits, health issues, and specific needs should be provided to potential buyers. This approach can deter impulse purchases and encourage individuals to make informed decisions when choosing a dog.

By increasing awareness through education, promoting responsible pet ownership, and implementing legislation, we can address this issue and ensure a better future for both dogs and their owners. It is imperative that we prioritize the well-being of the dogs we bring into our lives and provide them with the love, care, and support they need and deserve.

As told to Deepti Sharma

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