The Ethics of Keeping Dogs as Companions | Felica

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Arguments are abundant when it comes to the ethics of pet keeping. While some feel it is wrong to keep dogs as pets, others suggest, a dog-human relationship is special and benefits both the animal and the human.

It is true that the "Pet keeping" industry has single handedly brought about a lot of suffering to animals. Driven by selfishness and greed, the industry manipulates breeding, puts a price on dogs and discourages them from engaging in their natural behavior. Additionally, even if dogs land a home, there are millions of cases where dogs spend their whole lives outdoors, chained or in small kennels even during rough weathers which are known to traumatize them on a psychological level.

The solution is not to set your furry friends free as this is not in their best interests. The world is not what it used to be and the wild has receded to the borders and they will find it difficult to live in this modern world without a human to care for them. We need dogs as much as they need us. So, how do we make sure that our furry friends are living their best lives possible? It is all about your choices-

Adopt, don't shop

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Reasons are plenty why you should adopt your furry friend instead of purchasing them. India is home to 30 million stray canines, give or take. They spend miserable lives, escaping hurls and abuses from humans, finding leftovers from trash cans and frequently being injured or worse brutally dying from accidents. Every time an animal is adopted from a shelter, it creates space for another rescue to be taken in. Hence, when you adopt a dog, you automatically save two lives. Adoption isn't just a kinder choice, it is also the best one.

 

Free Space

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Confining your dog to a kennel or a small room is unethical. You are taking away much needed stimulation, a lack of which will lead to pent-up stress and other issues. Additionally, an absence of social stimulation and sufficient outdoor activity can pave way to a host of behavioural issues. Make sure your dog has a comfortable space to rest, relax and call home. 

Exercise

Every dog needs constant physical and mental stimulation in order to stay healthy. It isn't merely a matter of burning off extra energy.Exercise also gives them a chance to engage in different environments, to socialise and to have fun, all of which makes for a meaningful, valuable life. Dr. Stephanie Borns-Weil, a veterinarian and clinical instructor at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine says to Pet Central.chewy, "Because exercise decreases anxiety overall, lack of exercise can contribute to anxiety-based conditions,” she says. “More specifically, lack of exercise and mental stimulation can lead to attention-seeking and destructive behaviors.” It will effectively ward off obesity which in turn can cause an overall improvement in health. 

Well- Balanced Diet

A  nutritious, balanced diet is important for the general well being of your dog. It is important that you feed your dog the right food in the right amount to ensure good health, happiness and even longevity. Irrespective of size or breed, all dogs require six main nutrients: Proteins, Fatty Acids, Energy, Vitamins, Minerals and Water. An ethical treatment of your pet includes securing your dog from an excess or dearth of these essential nutrients. On top of that, an ethical diet also considers your dog's genetics and past illnesses. 

Timely Veterinary Care

Adequate and timely visits to the vet is fundamental in safeguarding them from painful illnesses and other issues that cause severe discomfort and cut down on their life spans. Adequate veterinary care covers effective programs ranging from preventive medicines, disease control and management to surgery and post surgical care. Monitoring your dog for symptoms also improves the likelihood of identifying illnesses that can otherwise become irreversible. 

Ethical Training

Good training keeps their intellect sharp and is in fact, an enjoyable and bonding activity for you and your dog. RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) promotes reward based training programs that centers on positive reinforcement. Enrolling your puppy into ethical training programs is also another way to make sure your dog starts socialising at a young age and thus learn social cues.

 

Companionship

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It is rarely the case that humans can stay with their dogs 24x7. Often, when humans leave for work, dogs are left bored and alone in homes which when gone on for too long can lead to loneliness and depression. To prevent this, it is advised to keep another dog from the same breed around so they can keep each other company. 

Quality Time

Neglect and abandonment can drastically affect your dog. Good news is spending quality time with your dog benefits both you and your dog. An interesting new research shows that when our furry friend stares into our eyes they activate the same hormones that bond a human to an infant. Spending quality time with your dog increases their happiness levels and reduces stress.

 

" In addition to this, you should strictly stay away from using your dog as a means to earn money as this is a form of exploitation that violates their rights."