Are You The Overly Attached Owner?

Does the thought of losing your pet cause your mood to go into a downward spiral and ruin an otherwise perfectly good day? Do you spend more time thinking and caring for your pet than yourself?

Or is this you?

Overly Attached Owner

If you’ve answered ‘Yes,’ the good news is that you’re not Tin Man, but the not-so-good news is that you might be overly attached to your pet.

No, there’s nothing wrong with it. We all grieve when they’re gone, we all pamper them while they’re here. It’s natural. It’s what they do and what they have that’s rare in humans that fills the emotional void and makes us fall in love with them so deeply. Their unconditional love, no matter how little time we spend with them, how we look when we put on extra weight, their affection (except Mari-kun), and their willingness to listen to our complaints makes them the perfect companion.

Animals And Their Wizardry 

However, it’s also their almost perfect character (‘almost’ because they have the innate ability to do the dumbest things) that led many into a trap.

Although a pet can bring about great therapeutic healing, as seen in therapy dogs, we need to be honest with ourselves if we can deal with the fact that most animals will leave this place before we do. It can even be a dangerous event if someone is already suffering from mental illness. Even so most people, a pet is more than just a furry companion – they can even mean more than a significant other or family member.

Too Much Of A Good Thing Makes Me Sick, Especially If The Good Thing Is Chocolate

Most people I know take the loss of their pets in stride, especially pets who died of old age. But life is not only fragile; the outcomes of daily events – big and small, are beyond our control. How many times have you bought someone a gift but only to get an awkward smile when they opened it up?

It’s not about being indifferent but knowing where to draw the line. Water and nutrients are essential for the growth of a plant; give it too much, and it dies. The same goes for many things in life.

Pets are readily conditioned by positive things; they’ll soon know that all they need to do to get more treats and attention is to beg for it. Not only does it create obesity, anxiety, and stress issues, but having an unhealthy body and mind will manifest into, in turn, creating more problems.

It’s A Matter Of Personal Reflection

It’s difficult finding the balance as most pet owners are either overly attached or nonchalant, both of which will create the same behavioral and health issues.

So, in my opinion, only when we understand the boundaries of what’s expected of our pets (e.g., rules they need to abide by), but also what’s expected of us – logically evaluating our pet’s best interests, will we be able to enjoy a healthy relationship.


Further reading:

Psychology Today on the technical aspects

Another psychologist talks about this in The Veterinary Expert


Anesthesia free dental cleaning: The danger that runs deep

The assumption that putting elder pets under general anesthesia would a high risk of death has been long-held. As pet owners, we are all afraid that we might become the accomplice in causing our pet’s premature death, and vets don’t want to either. As a result, many have chosen to let establishments that boast anesthesia-free dental scaling handle their pet’s teeth cleaning.

Imagine the difficulty some of you already have when cleaning your pet’s teeth with a normal toothbrush. The fact is, grooming, like cutting nails and teeth brushing, is a very unnatural and invasive process for animals. Nothing in the wild would give them the same feeling that would make teeth brushing feel natural, and pets let us brush their teeth only because of trust.

Dental Disease Recall the last time you went for your regular dental checkup. Even when we brush our teeth twice daily, and our teeth look healthy, there’s still the need to remove calculus and plaque from under your gumline, a procedure that many would agree is far from comfortable and soothing. So imagine a grooming salon using the same ultrasonic teeth scalers for your pet. Although they might be able to get rid of obvious tartar, it would be hard to imagine how one does do a thorough cleaning below the gumline without the use of anesthesia on our pets.

As saliva loses its antibacterial properties as your pet ages or the tooth becomes rough from tartar buildup, you might find that calculus can build up even with daily brushing. Take a small dog, for example, it’s considered geriatric beyond seven years old, and I’ve seen a lot of dogs who are 17. But to be reasonable, let’s say it lives till 13. Are you going to deny your dog dental treatment for 6 years? You see, poor dental health doesn’t just cause bad breath. Especially in old age, tartar and the decaying tooth can cause many problems. When I had just adopted my Maltese, the nose and eyes had yellow discharge, and diagnosis by the vet said it was a result of the poor state the whole set of teeth was in. Even in old age, giving your pet a dental overhaul, if it needs one, will do more good than harm.

“A more serious danger is the bacterial infection and resultant inflammation in the gums, which can send bacteria through the dog’s bloodstream, where it can wreak havoc with the heart, lungs, kidney, and liver. Dogs with chronic health problems that affect these organs and dogs with immune-mediated disease are at special risk of experiencing complications due to periodontal disease. For this reason alone, owners of these dogs should be the most proactive in keeping their dogs’ teeth clean.” – Nancy Kerns, Whole Dog Journal

Unless the animal has existing health problems, there are so many aged animals rescued from pet farms, and their new owners would bring their adopted pets to have them sterilized and have their teeth cleaned and extracted if necessary without any complications. I believe that if the clinic is responsible and ethical, and proper tests and screening are done prior, it’s relatively safe to put your pets under anesthesia.

Here are some professional opinions that can address this matter in further detail:
Anesthesia-Free Pet Dentistry – By Animal Dental Care and Oral  Surgery
Nonprofessional Dental Scaling – By
Anesthesia-Free Teeth Cleaning For Your Dog – By The Whole Dog Journal

How Buying A Pet is Funding Barbaric Acts

China putting live animals in a bag for sale
Her smile makes me sick.

You might have heard about irresponsible vendors in China putting live animals in air-tight bags and selling them as trinkets. >If you haven’t, read about them here.<

The reason this barbaric act exists, together with illegal pet trade, poaching, and irresponsible pet farming, all boils down to consumer demand.

The moment someone carries that cute little puppy home from behind the glass case of the pet shop, it’s encouraging breeders to churn out puppies, as many as they can, at the lowest cost they can manage. What if there are syndicates that are forcing women to give birth over and over just to sell their babies? Worse still, to maximize profits, the women are forced to live in inhumane conditions. Heinous? So what makes the pet industry different? Just because they are animals?

But that’s not all. Who could resist infant mammals? Even baby turtles are cute. Everyone wants to bring them home, giving rise to impulse buying. As a result, many pets are not well cared for beyond their infant stage. Why? Because it suddenly occurred to the owners that taking care of a living thing is hard work. Because that puppy isn’t cute anymore. Because it has developed behavioral problems and has gotten out of hand. And the most frustrating reason is “Because Fido is old, and we don’t want to see him die.” Bollocks.

Every month, SCPA Singapore alone takes in 300 animals that are unwanted by their owners.

This culture of irresponsible buying and breeding created the need for another undesirable activity: Euthanasia.

Even with all the rescue efforts going on and kindhearted people doing what they can to give pets a second chance, there are still more strays, abandoned animals, and animals scheduled to be euthanized than rescue groups can handle.

There are animals being put down every day, healthy and unhealthy; their lives are forcefully taken against their will. And I’d rather lose my job as a groomer because there aren’t enough furry dogs to groom than to see breeders churn out puppies without a care in the world and irresponsible owners leaving their pets in a terrible state. The same pet who has given the perpetrators 100% of their love.

Seriously though, there are so many advantages to adopting. First, it feels good giving animals a second chance to live. Secondly, because most of them have not experienced excessive pampering, they’re usually much calmer and well-behaved. And since most animals up for adoption is in their adulthood, what you see is what you get. Plus, so much more!

If long-term commitment is not for you, why not try fostering? It’s the practice of temporarily caring for the animals before they find a permanent home.

Of course, the government, too, needs to understand and allow larger breeds of dogs in HDB flats.

There is much work to be done, so please help share this and encourage people to adopt. The animals need your help. Even if you can’t adopt, your help disseminating this message may have already helped an animal on death row.

Finally, let’s take one last moment to digest this picture from the video above. This puppy was put down right after the photo shoot was done. Look them in the eye. Do they deserve this?Taiwan-Doomed-Dogs-003_540x405