Animal Rights

5 myths about dogs – busted

Dogs are our best friends, helpers, guides and everyday heroes. So why are our canine friends often mistreated?

It’s no wonder that dogs are known as ‘man’s best friend’ – for centuries, they’ve been by our sides. Whether that’s for companionship, home security or working with us as a team. With their little wet noses, adorable eyes and fluffy ears, it’s easy to see why they make the world a better place for people, and sometimes, they even save lives.

Dogs are everyday heroes. So why are our canine friends often mistreated?

Understanding dogs could be the key to making their life, and ultimately your life, much easier.

Perception: Some dogs aren’t obedient and are hard to control.

Reality: Dogs aren’t born with the knowledge of how to obey commands – training them takes time, effort and patience.

Some dogs might be harder to control than others, which will often be circumstantial. This is dependent on a variety of things, such as age, life experiences, and whether they have had any training – their breed and intelligence may only play a very small part. With most dogs, including stray or rescue dogs, they can become well-behaved pets if they’re given the right guidance.

Perception: Sterilizing dogs is cruel and painful.

Reality: Recent findings by World Animal Protection have shown that only 43% of people currently sterilize their dogs, with many believing that this is cruel and painful. Sterilizing dogs is the process of removing the ovaries of a female dog, or the testicles of a male dog. This brings many benefits, such as eliminating the risk of her having unwanted litters of puppies which could lead to more stray dogs.

There is also a common misconception that dogs should be allowed to produce one litter of puppies, although currently, there are no recorded health benefits – emotional or physical.

When dogs are sterilized, they are put under a general anaesthetic, meaning they are asleep and unaware of the procedure taking place. This a safe routine operation that requires minimal aftercare. The benefits of sterilization outweigh the small price of minor discomfort.

Perception: I don’t need to get my dog sterilized because it’s a boy.

Reality: Sterilizing pets should be a priority for both females and males. For males, this will ensure they don’t go roaming in search of a female dog to mate with and will be less territorial which could mean reduced aggressive behaviour. Sterilized animals are known to be better behaved, and the procedure eliminates a number of health risks, such as testicular cancer in male dogs.

Perception: Getting dogs registered and microchipped is unnecessary if they have a collar.

Reality: Microchipping is a very quick and relatively painless procedure, where a small chip (about the size of a grain of rice) is inserted under the skin of your dog. The computer chip stores essential information that will help trace their owner should they get lost.

While collars can easily fall off or be removed, a microchip is a permanent form of identification. This is important as if dogs go missing and are then found, they are easily identifiable as a much-loved pet, or even a safe community dog. This means they can’t be rehomed, sold on, or even euthanised – especially in places where there are public health concerns with diseases such as rabies.

Perception: If you take in a stray dog, they will be badly behaved and likely to have diseases.

Reality: Both stray dogs and pet dogs can be badly behaved and carry diseases, so it’s important to make sure that appropriate care is sought for them. This means getting them vaccinated for rabies if the disease is present in the area, getting them sterilized, and having them registered or microchipped.

Research by World Animal Protection has shown that about one in six (17%) of owned dogs are adopted roaming or stray dogs, and over half (53 %) of people surveyed said that they provide some level of care for dogs within the community even in they are free-roaming. Stray dogs, like any other dogs, can become great pets, companions and protectors of communities – a little bit of care and attention really will go a long way.


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