Why do people get a pet dog and then keep or leave it outside?

This is a subject that frustrates me to say the least. For the life of me I cannot understand why people get a pet dog for their family or themselves, only to condemn the poor creature to a lonely life living in their garden, yard or shed etc. I could understand getting a dog as a guard dog to live outside, and there is nothing wrong with this is if adequate shelter, bedding, food and water, as well as any essentials such as regular inoculations, flea and worm treatments and veterinary care are provided when required.

What I cannot justify in my own mind are the people who go out, buy a puppy and then simply chain it up outside all year round whilst they barely spend five minutes with it each day on their way in and out of the house. Surely the whole point of having a dog is to enjoy the wonderful unconditional love they have to offer, and to have them as a part of your family/pack!

I watch numerous episodes of programmes such as Animal Cops Houston, Animal Cops etc, and in virtually every episode there is at least one case of a dog that has suffered as a result of a person or family leaving it outside to either starve, freeze, have a collar become embedded into its neck (because no-one allowed for the fact puppies do grow), give birth to puppies that are left infested with fleas that are literally 'sucking' the life out of them, get choked on a leash that is so short the dog ends up hanging itself etc etc. I am sure anyone reading this is more than aware that these cases are not unique and happen frequently.

An embedded collar/chain
An embedded collar/chain

Having grown up with dogs myself, and spent many years of my adulthood with dogs, as well as looking after other people's dogs for them when they have gone on holiday, I cannot understand why anyone would choose to take on a dog they didn't want to share their lives with day to day. How can people sit in their cosy warm homes with snow on the ground outside, knowing their pet dog is out there, on its own, without affection, human interaction or the normal bonding rituals such a pack animal is instinctively geared towards? Surely this completely defeats the point of getting a dog at all. If you only want to leave it tied up outside, or in a confined yard, then perhaps you should have got a cat that could freely wander where it wanted to without any help from you, or better still a goldfish, that would not moult, bark, require much attention, cost much to feed or get vet care for!

A dog offers so much to a family when it lives amongst them. I have numerous memories of the many dogs we have shared our lives with over the years, and each one spent its life in the house as one of the family. Our houses were clean, tidy and hygienic (as were our dogs), and there was no good reason to even consider keeping them outside, nor would we have had dogs if that was our intention. I would never for one moment adopt or buy a dog unless I was going to gain the benefits of sharing my life with them, both in the house and outside of it.

Another example of a painful embedded collar/rope
Another example of a painful embedded collar/rope

A dog should be part of your pack, in other words your family. It should have a bond with you, want to protect you, trust you and interact with you. If you currently have a dog that you know you keep outside, ask yourself a few questions, such as how much time you have spent each day with your dog since you took him on, when you last fed him, have you provided him with clean water, when did he last have a check up from a vet, have you wormed him in the last three months, has he got a waterproof and draft-proof shelter, have you checked him over for ticks and removed them, did you take him for a walk today, do you really feel you are giving him or her the best home they could have?

If any of the above questions make you squirm a little, or prick your conscience at all, then please, for the sake of that living creature sitting outside alone right now, either make some drastic changes, or do the decent thing and take them to a rescue centre so they can find them a home that will give them a quality of life they deserve.

Too many dogs die outside homes from their owners neglect in the way of lack of food, adequate shelter, veterinary treatment etc. Additionally what really makes my blood boil is when a dog is left gradually turning into a skeleton outside, whilst their overweight owner tucks happily into their next hugely calorific meal with not a spare thought for the dog they haven't fed for days or weeks.

Please think on. If you are not one of these bad owners, but suspect you know a friend, neighbour or family member who is, please please please report them and save another dog from this miserable existence.

If you are thinking of taking on a dog, please don't, unless you are willing to keep it in the home with you and your family. Let someone else give that dog the love and the 'pack' it needs.

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Comments 53 comments

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA

Animal cruelty makes me sick. We ended up adopting our neighbor's cat because when they decided they did not want it anymore, they were going to drive it to the desert and abandon it. We had lots of cats and dogs growing up, and I love both.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico

There is a laissez faire, irresponsible attitude to dog ownership in "animal loving" Britain. We used to have licenses many years ago; that was abandoned - one of the only effective forms of tax which at least exercised some control. Now, we are worse than a third-world country. Worse, because we have the money to indescriminately buy puppies from many unscrupulous dealers, but seemingly lack the intelligence and moral fibre to treat them as they should be treated; like a new baby. The British aare such hypocrites. We condemn bullfighting, yet we allow farm animals to be kept in disgusting cages and batteries and, as you say, we chain up a pack-animal, such as the dog, outside in solitude. Cats get a better deal because they tend to say "fuck you" and lead the life they chose to a large degree...Bob Good article voted up and up


kimberlyslyrics 5 years ago

hi my missing horizon. So true, do they even think about these things beforehand or just get lazy and overwhelmed after the fact? sad really

I thought this hub was brilliant in that nobody talks about these things so unless we do it will just get worse

spread it everywhere and rated you up

awesome girl, as always

and do miss you

xo


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

Misty - This sad, explicit hub clearly points out the difference between a dog owner and a dog lover.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi Sweetie Pie, what horrible neighbours you have. Luckily the cat had YOU as a neighbour. I just don't get why people who no longer want their pet don't take it to a rescue centre instead of being cruel to it or abandoning it to fend for itself.

Hi Bob, I totally agree, and the British are hypocrites in this regard. Too many countries now seem to think it is totally acceptable to keep a pet dog permanently outdoors even though it is a pack animal. What is the point in having one at all on that basis!


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi Kimberly, lovely to see you here. I have been around, just not had much time to read and comment on many hubs as I have been trying to churn out a few myself. I am so pleased you 'liked' this hub (if that is the right word considering the topic). I wish more was said about this and less people took it as perfectly normal to keep a pet dog outside instead of in the home. Thanks for rating this up and sharing it.

catch up soon

xo


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi drbj, I couldn't have put it better myself :) Thanks


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 5 years ago from USA

Hi Misty - In many instances, keeping one's dog outside all the time is much like keeping your kids outside. Why have them if that is how you want to treat them?

Good article !

Gus :-)))


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Good point Gus, glad you approve of the article:)


onegoodwoman profile image

onegoodwoman 5 years ago from A small southern town

As an animal friend, I agree with you.

In defense of others, ( not defending abuse), the restrictions and city ordinances are so severe, in some areas that they all but DEMAND your dog be chained or tied.

Apartments, rental houses, neighborhoods, do not want dogs. If you leave them at home, you are neglecting them, if you take them with and leave them in the vehicle, then you face abuse charges.

The cries to help, aid , rescue and adopt animals is becoming louder. The penalty for having a dog is increasing.

Recently, a homeless dog wandered up........I fed the dog. The " city " told me that I now 'owned' the dog and was responsible for her.

That is not what I agreed to.....I just fed a hungry animal.

In the same city, a neighbor was fined because her dog was lying in the sunshine in the front yard, unchained. The dog was not distrubing anyone, he was not offensive in anyway. He was in a mellow and relaxed state, but because her yard was not fenced, the city required that he be chained or tied.

Dog may be man's best friend, but man is a sorry excuse for a dog's friend.

My Large dog, is quiet, well behaved, yet he is shunned in many areas where yapping lap dogs are allowed.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi onegoodwoman,

Thanks for your comment, and on many points I do agree with you. The point I did want to make here was not to have a dog at all if you were going to leave it chained up outside though. In other words have it in the home with you, or walk it (if required legally) on a leash outside. If you have to take the dog to work with you and leave it in a vehicle all day, then think twice about having a dog at all.

If you wish to let your dog into your yard for a pee etc, then make sure your yard is fenced to avoid any fines. I have just hubbed on the Invisible Fence system, so a literal wooden or metal fence is not necessary and your free running dog would still be safely contained. The owners I have a problem with are the ones who leave their dogs chained up full time in their yards, never bringing them into the house and rarely interacting with them, often badly neglecting them either physically and/or emotionally.

I do however a agree that the laws have gone over the top when a perfectly well behaved dog lying in its own yard can generate a fine for the owner.


Maria Cecilia profile image

Maria Cecilia 5 years ago from Philippines

dog cruelty is all over the world indeed. I guess Philippines also has the worst dog cruelty case.. the answer to your question Cindy is the simply do not like dogs for they care less when they just left them outside and chained forever..must have a leash only during dog walks. I don't know since I love my dogs, they are happy and free dogs inside my house. I only let them stay in the garden if I know my relatives can see them, I only allow them to stay in my backyard when I am there cooking or doing the laundry... I never leave them without my supervision... trying to avoid possible accidents or incidents


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks Maria, you sound like a really loving and responsible dog owner. I wish there were many more like you out there.


Maria Cecilia profile image

Maria Cecilia 5 years ago from Philippines

I dont want to claim I am 100% responsible owner but I just love my dogs especially my 10 year old Peso


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

No-One is 100% perfect, the main thing is to strive to get as close as possible to this. You sound fine to me :D


ocbill profile image

ocbill 5 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

cruelty to animals is just horrible; neglect to pets is bad too. But we (when I was a kid) did keep our St. Bernard and English Sheepdog outside as there was not enough room in the house for a big family and 2 big dogs that shed hair a lot.

You remember Beethoven movie. Yeah, it was like that. Imagine getting yourself ready with nice clothes only to have a big dog brush by you leaving hair and slobber on your clothing. It happens and I did love those dogs.

They had a nice warm garage and in good weather climates, like southern California it wasn't so bad. Great Hub !! as it brought back some warm memories. It feels almost like yesterday.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi Ocbill, I am glad this brought you back some warm memories. I still remember every single dog we have had over the years very fondly, and often still shed a few tears over their passing.

I see the problem you must have had with two such large, hairy and slobbery dogs, and at least you did provide them with food, shelter and love. Have to ask though, wouldn't it have been easier to get two smaller, less hairy dogs that would fit into the house and slobber less LOL. We had enough problems with a large black Labrador/Retriever cross in a fairly spacious home and masses of land, I don't know how we would have coped with two that size.


onegoodwoman profile image

onegoodwoman 5 years ago from A small southern town

I agree, if you are going to "own" a pet, be a responsible "owner".


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks onegoodwoman, nice to see you support this ideal too :)


BigSerious profile image

BigSerious 5 years ago from Harrisburg, PA

The photos are heartbreaking. :( I have a neighbor who got his family a dog (two young boys) and the poor puppy is always outside - even on today's snowy, wintery day. This past summer I finally called the Humane Society because the poor thing didn't even have a dog house and lived under a truck in the yard. Within a day of the HS going to the home, the owner built a virtual condo for the poor pup. He's moved it since winter began, and though I haven't checked to see if the house is heated, it still breaks my heart - whether it's heated or not - that she is outside, alone, without socialization. Interaction with people is what makes a well-behaved and gentle pet. Loneliness may hurt others as much as it hurts this poor dog (should she become so anti-social that she reacts violently to people in the end). The HS has them on file, thank goodness, and I've seen them make checks. Thoughtful and kind hub. Thank you.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thank you BigSerious, what a sad tale, I just don't understand why these kinds of people don't just hand the dog over to the HS instead of carrying on with keeping it somewhere they never interact with it. I am glad you reported them though, it was the right thing to do.


Golden Guy profile image

Golden Guy 5 years ago

This just breaks my heart! I have always been an animal lover and I just can't understand how anyone could allow this to happen. I had to move from a queen bed to a king to accommodate our Golden Retriever...I couldn't even make her stay in the crate! This reminds all of us that we need to help...thanks for writing on this very difficult topic.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks for your wonderful feedback Golden Guy, you sound lie me. I would do exactly that kind of thing. I used to sleep every night with a greyhound, a terrier and a cat on my bed, and I only had a standard double bed!! There was barely room for me, but I loved waking up every morning with my terrier's fuzzy little face on the pillow next to me, (usually the rest of her under the duvet), and my greyhound pressed against my legs, with the cat perched by my feet. Heaven :)


pintoandi profile image

pintoandi 5 years ago from Panama City Beach, FL

Great article! Too bad there isn't more that we could do for them. This cruel treatment, being left to fend for their selves, stop off at kill shelters NEEDS to be STOPPED. They just want to live a good life being loved as we do.


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

Oh, this hub really hits home. I am so angered and upset with humans when it comes to animal neglect, abuse and abandonment. I can't tell you how many times my friend, Al, and I have come to the aid and rescue of abandoned animals...suffering, alone, cold...We saved 2 dogs, Willie and Haley, from starvation and death due to extreme cold in SE Kansas. The "owners" just left these two short haired boxers alone out in the country with no place to get out of the weather, no food, and coyote all around. For months...at least 4 or 5, we would go twice a day, feed the dogs and we brought a wonderful,insulted, covered dog house for them. We checked on them and, finally, found the people. Long story short, we continued for months and months to feed daily (even when the people were home, finally)until we were certain they were going to be ok...after lots of conversations. Just down the street, there was a starving, tied dog out in the rain and sleet, no cover, nothing to sleep in...and bone thin. We fed her and provided shelter and warmth. The people were away...for weeks and weeks. They returned and were very upset that the person they hired to care for her never came by. Today, she is well fed, fat and sassy...and, of course, we check on her condition, too. We have rescued so many abandoned dogs and cats. Our country home is totally an animal sanctuary , now. So many more stories; ways in which we have intervened for animals. I've written anonymous letters to people saying exactly what you've said...why do these people HAVE a dog or cat? I've made phone calls to all the depts. in town dealing w/law enforcement and even called the place of employment on several people to tell them to get home and let their dog in out of the snow. It is amazing, the horrific conditions animals are left in and horrible people out there.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi Pintoandi, thanks for the feedback, I totally agree, they just want to be loved as we do :)


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi Lucky Cats, thanks so much for commenting and sharing all the lovely good deeds you have done for dogs. If only there were more people like you the world would be a better place for neglected pets.


tony 5 years ago

I agree I have 3 dogs and i love them so much they are my family and I would lay down my life for them as I am very sure they would for me. I cannot understand anyone who cannot see the love a dog obviously has for people. Dear God in heaven, please stop the senseless human cruelty to these wonderful loving and devoted creatures I prey. They deserve to be happy and loved and nothing less.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks for your heartfelt comment Tony. Your sentiments echo mine completely and I am pleased to 'meet' a fellow animal lover.


Francesca27 profile image

Francesca27 5 years ago from Hub Page

This breaks my heart. People who do these things should have the same things done to them, by law! Francesca27


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

I totally agree Francesca27, and thanks for saying his here :)


lilian1 profile image

lilian1 5 years ago from Hertfordshire England

I agree with what you say unfortunately these people are NOT pet lovers just why do they buy dogs only to leave them outside and alone its a cruel thing to do which makes me sad and cross ...


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi lilian1, I agree with you totally, it makes me really angry, and if a person isn't a pet lover why do they get pets at all!


weestro profile image

weestro 5 years ago from Virginia

After reading this my dogs will receive extra pets and treats..You put into a well written hub what my wife and I say to each other all the time...sad


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks weestro, I am really glad you feel the same way as I do :)


gryphin423 profile image

gryphin423 5 years ago from Florida

It is so sad to come across these poor pups, it makes me so mad. I wish I could rescue each one and slap the owners over the head. They have no compassion whatsoever and should never be allowed to own a dog. It is just sickening. The dog is a member of the family, not some garden tool to leave outside in the elements! Thanks for sharing mistyhorizon!


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

I totally agree gryphin423, dogs are not an object and should not be taken on if the owner intends to treat them as one. Thanks for commenting :)


mary615 profile image

mary615 5 years ago from Florida

I wrote a Hub on my rescued Maltese, and over to the side I saw this in "related" Hubs. Glad I did. I was married to a Veterinarian for many years before he died, and I have seen first hand the horrible things people do to their dogs. I can't tell you how many imbedded chains we cut out of the dog's neck! I now have a Miniature Schnauzer (I wrote a Hub about her, too), and she has the best of everything because I love her SO much. She has a nice fenced yard, and a doggie door. I take good care of my Baby.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks for the great comment mary615, and good on you for taking on a rescue dog, (I have had two so far in my life, and hope one day to have more). Embedded chains are just horrible, and so easy to avoid. I think your little Schnauzer has truly landed on all four paws finding a responsible, loving and experienced owner like you :)


R. J. Lefebvre 5 years ago

Misty, I have to admit we did keep a dog outside because we also had a cat indoors and were afraid there would be some conflict. It did not last long before we let our pit bull 'Rocky' inside to see if our stray kitten 'Missy' could get along with each other. At first it was trial and error: with Rocky laying in front of the fireplace, Missy would hunch her back up and side trotted toward Rocky. Barbara and I thought it was funny, but later we learned Missy was expressing her fear. They turned out to be friends; Missy would at times disturb Rocky while he was trying to eat. They not only tolerated each outher, they treated each other as if they were related and slept together.

Ronnie


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Hi Ronnie,

I am glad you let your dog move in to the house and he got on well with your cat. It probably helped that the cat was there first, so you were taking your dog into her territory rather than the other way round. I have had dogs and cats living in the same house many times over the years, and it only ever caused a minor problem once, and that was with my Doberman. He was a lovely gentle dog, but simply could not resist chasing the poor cat all over the place. Sadly he died young, and the greyhound we later got as a companion for our remaining terrier got on very well with the cat (as did the terrier). All the dogs otherwise have got on well with the cats in our lives, even all sleeping on my bed together.

Cindy


R. J. Lefebvre 5 years ago

Cindy, I bet you never get cold, physically or mentally. Treat them right, and you have security and companionship that greets each day with a smile.

Ronnie


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Absolutely Ronnie, I could not feel content without at least one cat or dog in my life at any one point in time. Dogs and cats complete the home :)

Cindy


Eranofu profile image

Eranofu 4 years ago from Europe

This is sooo sad. :( Thanks for bringing up the issue.

My sister has a dog which is a guard dog. A huge Caucasian. He is the angriest dog ever when he's chained. He barks like mad to even those visitors which he knows well. On the other hand, as soon as he's let loose and allowed to get in the house, his 'job' is over and the old dog turns into a giant, hairy and playful puppy. :)


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks for your feedback Eranofu, I hope your Sister's guard dog gets a retirement where he can just be a 'giant, hairy and playful puppy' full time. This would be a very happy ending after his working life is done :)


Janie 4 years ago

I don't get people sometimes. Some of us have a natural affinity with animals, others don't and never will, its not their fault as they are born or brought up that way. Its the people in between who think they can own an animal and are clueless or get bored with them and then leave the animal to fend for itself or put it in the overstretched rehoming centres of the world that are usually charity based and struggle yearly raising money. The governments need to address these situations and put some sort of global law in place where people have to prove they want and will take care of a domestic pet. In most countries a person has to prove they are capable of owning a gun and to prove they wont take a life with it. Some animals lives are over as soon as they are taken on by people who are no more animal minded than i am the virgin mary. Animals have as much right to walk this god forsaken planet as we have and they deserve more respect than we do because humans are the ultimate breed and don't respect each other. Its a sad state of affairs to see a dog who is born to be full of joy and love for an owner only to end up with some retarded specimen who beats, starves and neglects it. I hate to hate, but these people should be treat in the same manner when caught. Give animals a voice, if you know of neglect report it, don't put it off hoping it will stop or someone else will do it for you. My dogs are never left in the cold, they are fed twice daily, lie on the couch, sleep with me and have their own toy box. My house is clean tidy and doesn't smell of 'dog'. Have a good long think into your future before getting any kind of pet, its with you for the rest of its lifeā€¦


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Very wise words Janie, and I thank you for writing them here. It sounds to me like your dogs have the best home they could have hoped for. Keep up the good work :)


R. J. Lefebvre 4 years ago

Cindy,

If I was equal to you, I would have my entire neighborhood asking for help in pet care in addition to internationaly via Hubbpagers. Your a living Angle, I'd love to be a neighbor.

Ronnie


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks Ronnie, I will happily spend a good chunk of my life trying to help abused pets. It disgusts me that people do this to their animals and get away with it!


ladydeonne profile image

ladydeonne 3 years ago from Florence, SC

As an avid dog lover and animal rights advocate, I agree totally that dogs should be treated as part of our family packs. I have often asked the question as to why individuals would buy or adopt a dog and then just leave it outside without human companionship or interaction. It pains me that dogs are tied up or chained outside for lengthy periods or always.

All of my dogs have lived in my home. Since I have been single, my dogs have slept in bed with me. I love their companionship and warmth. They truly are man's/woman's best friend.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 3 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks for commenting ladydeonne, you think exactly the same way I do by the sound of things. I even wrote a hub about whether or not we should allow dogs to sleep on our beds with us (I reckon you can probably guess how I feel about it ).


To Start Again profile image

To Start Again 3 years ago

This subject breaks my heart. I see dogs left to live outside all the time while the owners they want only to love are inside warm or cool and comfortable. I have two dogs of my own and they both want nothing more than to be with us. Content to lay at our feet and follow us from room to room, I can't imagine making them stay outside and feel unwanted :(

Worse are the owners who don't give adequate shelter/food/water and give virtually no attention to their pet. So sad and I agree with you...Why get a dog at all if you're going to make him live outside away from you all the time??


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 3 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thank you so much for simply being the lovely and genuine dog lover that you clearly are 'To Start Again'. I am so glad there people like you out there who understand where I am coming from.

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