Let’s get a few things straight, right out of the gate. Pets are not supposed to be your status symbols. They’re not meant to be something you brag about only because of how much they cost you. They’re not something you should be haggling over online. And they’re not supposed to be excuses for owners to bully others because they don’t cater to their every demand.
Our fuzzy, furry, and feathered friends are living, breathing, thinking, and feeling beings who deserve our love, care, and respect. Some owners focus on the wrong things.
Unfortunately, the simple fact is that the world isn’t a perfect place and there are plenty of entitled pet owners who view the animals under their care from very bizarre perspectives. Some might complain about the price of a pet being way too high/low. Others are picky to the point of madness. And still, others demand that the entire world bend to them and their pets’ every desire. And then they get all angry when they don’t.
We’ve collected some of the most egregious examples of delusional and entitled pet owners from the r/ChoosingBeggars subreddit, to show you how not to behave. Scroll down, but remember to hold on to your hats, it’s going to be a wild ride. You might want to cuddle your dog or cat once you reach the bottom of the list. Oh, and before we forget, here’s a gentle reminder: don’t shop—adopt!
CNN News wanted to understand just how big of a responsibility it is to own a pet, as well as what the signs of a good pet owner are, so we reached out to Ingrid Johnson, a certified cat behavior consultant and the founder of Fundamentally Feline. She told us that a good pet parent is someone who educates themselves about what’s involved in caring for a pet before adoption. Read on for our full interview with Ingrid.
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According to cat behavior consultant Ingrid, when pet parents educate themselves before getting an animal, they ensure that they have the right resources (from time and money to actual physical space) to meet the pet’s physical and environmental needs.
“They are also going to seek the help of qualified professionals to ensure they are providing the best possible standards of care,” she said that pet owners should seek out the help of vets, behaviorists, as well as trainers.
“Cats are not the low maintenance pets they have been touted to be, they require attention, training, grooming and, in my opinion, a high standard of care to ensure quality of life,” the founder of Fundamentally Feline stressed the fact that having a cat isn’t as easy as some people think.
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We also spoke to Ingrid about empathy towards animals and what some people can do to increase it while also changing their perspectives on pets. The cat behavior consultant explained to CNN News that she’d tell someone who might treat pets as commodities to visit their local animal control.
“Not even a rescue group, but a regular, municipal shelter. If more people submerged themselves into the darker side of the animal rescue world, fewer people would want to buy the fancy purebred and hopefully opt to adopt and save someone on death row,” she said.
“They will also learn that shelters and rescue groups are stocked with fancy purebreds that have been given up on for a variety of reasons. The only way to break the cycle is education. In my opinion, we should not continue to breed animals the way we have been (and making new, ‘hybrid’ breeds) when there are hundreds of thousands dying in shelters every year! Rescue one until there are none! Don’t shop, adopt!” Ingrid urged anyone who’s thinking of getting a pet to visit their local shelter.
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Someone Posted On Our Local Yard-Sale Site 2 Days Ago Requesting Emergency Help In Fostering A Dog For 2 Weeks While A Newly-Homeless Family Waited To Move Into Their New Home. I, A Complete Stranger, Offered To Home This Dog For Free….and This Is What I Get
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There’s a lot that goes into caring for our animal buddies. We have to provide them with healthy food, water, a place to live, and ways to help keep them entertained. That’s on top of giving them enough snuggles to make all the other pets in the neighborhood jealous.
Some entitled owners might be focusing on the wrong things and completely ignoring what it is that their pet buddies actually need.
One of the worst things that any owner can allow to happen to their pet is letting it become overweight. Obesity leads to a lot of health problems in our animal companions. For example, obese dogs have an increased risk of developing diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and hypertension.
What’s more, their joints wear out faster and they can develop urinary bladder stones. Their quality of life suffers immensely. That’s why it’s vital that their owners do everything in their power to provide them with a healthy diet and sufficient opportunities for movement.
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Previously, Dr. Ernie Ward, the founder of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, explained to CNN News why exactly obesity is the biggest health threat to dogs and cats.
“Dogs suffering from obesity have a much greater risk of developing arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer. Studies also show that dogs with obesity live about 2.5 years less than those at a healthy weight,” he told us.
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“More recent research proves that overweight or dogs with obesity have a lower quality of life, as reported by their pet parents. To put it bluntly, the fact is that dogs with obesity aren’t able to live and enjoy their best lives, and we must do better,” he warned.
“When people ask me if it’s better for a dog or cat to have obesity, I tell them ‘neither.’ Obesity is a disease and, as a veterinarian, I swore an oath to prevent animal disease and suffering. My goal is to prevent pet obesity and I’ve spent the last twenty years researching and teaching nutrition and weight loss methods to committed veterinary professionals and concerned pet parents.”
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Dr. Ward explained to us the similarities and differences between dogs, cats, and humans when it comes to obesity. He noted that dogs and humans are similar when it comes to losing weight and moving towards a healthier lifestyle. Both are omnivores, both use similar metabolic energy sources, and both get a lot of benefit from aerobic activities like walking.
“For dogs and humans, the weight-loss equation is about 60% to 70% diet and 30% to 40% physical activity. For cats, a species with different physiology and metabolism, it’s about 90% diet and only 10% exercise,” he said.
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“The first step toward a healthier weight for your dog is to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. They will first determine your dog’s Body Condition Score (BCS), establish target weight loss goals and ideal weight, and calculate the number of calories you should feed each day,” the pet health specialist said that some dogs will need special therapeutic diets while other canines might only need to reduce the number of calories they eat each day.
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“Your veterinarian will also make sure there isn’t an underlying medical condition or disease causing the weight gain and that it’s safe to begin an exercise program. In general terms, a dog (and their pet parent) needs about 30 minutes of aerobic activity each day,” he said that walking is a great form of exercise because it’s efficient and easily accessible.
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“I prefer it [walking] to most other exercises because that’s what dogs were designed to do best and most naturally. Plus, it’s free! When walking, be sure to use a walking harness and not a neck or choke collar to prevent injury to the trachea or windpipe region of the throat and neck,” he told CNN News.
According to the professional, dogs can lose from 3 to 5 percent of their body mass each month safely while they’re on a vet-supervised weight loss program.
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“Younger and more active dogs may lose a little more, depending on the amount of exercise the pet parent can provide. The most important thing to do is to monitor the weight each month. If your dog isn’t losing the appropriate amount of weight in three months, you need to change the strategy,” Dr. Ward said.
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“Weight loss is a dynamic and adaptive process, and dog parents must constantly evaluate what’s working or not. The great news is that, unlike cats, most dogs can reach their target weight within six to nine months. Cats can only lose about a half-pound per month, meaning losing four pounds will take about eight months if all goes well.”
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