Experts Say Montanan’s Should Stop Treating Their Pets Like People
As pet owners, we obviously love our dogs and cats. We buy them treats, groom them, schedule regular vet appointments, and love them to pieces. They are part of our family and it's always heartbreaking when they pass over the rainbow bridge.
Should you stop treating them like humans?
One group of experts is saying we should stop treating our furry friends like humans. According to a report from Oodle Life, a website that provides dog and puppy information, 80% of pet owners in Montana admit to giving their dogs a little extra love over Christmas. It could include feeding them leftovers from the holiday feast or dressing up their dog in cute costumes. Oodle Life founder and CEO Chris Allen says,
However, as much as we love them, it’s important to remember that they’re not actually human, and they shouldn’t be treated as such.
The scientific term for attributing human characteristics to animals is called anthropomorphism, aka 'Disneyfication'. It's an easy thing to do, but experts say you should try to avoid treating your pup like a little human.
Pet strollers, breath mints, silly outfits.
The report gave some examples of what they consider poor pet-owner practices, and why they're not recommended.
Dressing your dog in a sweater. The extra layer can mess with a dog's natural body temperature regulation. However, they say when temps drop below 40 degrees it's okay for most dog breeds to wear a sweater or doggie jacket outdoors. Just make sure it fits well.
Holding and carrying them like a baby. It seems natural to hold and cuddle puppies or smaller breed dogs like a baby, but they say doing this for extended periods of time "can cause obesity, inflammation of the joints and hinder their ability to cope with their environment, leading to anxiety." Hugging your dog can also cause anxiety issues. Check out the interactive slideshow from Oodle Life below for more tips and advice for making the holidays awesome for both you and your furry friends.
Earlier this week, we learned about a fantastic organization called Freckles and Tomcat Rescue. They help provide food for packs of roving, wild dogs on the Reservation. Story and heartbreaking pictures in the link below.