ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How To Be A Responsible Pet Owner.

Updated on May 23, 2016

There are literally millions upon millions of pets in this country, ranging from fish in bowls to hamsters in cages to dogs in yards and for every pet there is an owner caring for them. Some are truly conscientious, others not so much. There are those who breed the animals for pure profit, not caring whether the pet is happy or healthy, and there are those who dote on their pet, treating it better than some people treat their children; in fact, for a large portion of the pet population they are in fact someone's child.

But what does it really mean to be responsible? Is food, water and shelter enough? Getting shots each year to prevent rabies or distemper? An occasional pat on the head, a hug, and a snuggle sufficient to fulfill the needs of that pet? Or is there more required, a greater responsibility both to pet and self? Does it stop there or is there an even greater responsibility, another step one can or should take?

Some people truly love their pets, whether it be a cuddly kitten, a tail wagging dog, a prickly hedgehog or sneaky snake. What they are matters not: what matters is the outpouring of love an owner feels for this animal. Some owners go the extra distance regarding the food their pet eats, making sure the food is healthy regardless of the cost; and buddy, there is some serious money being made in this arena.

Some dog owners have paid the ultimate price in the life of their companion when a snack made in another country to substandard quality creates an illness that is followed by a lingering death. They would have prevented it had they but known; but they simply were not aware of the problem. There are any number of good websites available that details the recalls, the concerns and the health dangers currently out there and a good pet owner will subscribe to them.

Then there are the owners who feed their pet human food, mistakenly believing this is better for them than a processed pet food. But does this human food truly provide the necessary nutrients the pet requires to be healthy? Sadly, oftentimes it does not. And so we end up with a pet that is overweight, with health issues the owner did not intend to have occur.

Are you a contributing factor?
Are you a contributing factor? | Source

There is also the hot topic involving having our pets spayed and neutered. A truly responsible pet owner who has no interest in breeding (and that should be a large percentage of us) will have their pet "fixed". This creates a healthier animal, one who is more tractable (to a greater degree) and will not attempt to roam. It also will reduce the number of unwanted animals in the pet population thereby not adding to the pet shelter problems. Cats seem to be one of the bigger issues in this regard as they breed fairly easily and quickly and a large feral population of cats can have a devastating effect on the population of other species. Oh, many will believe it is good to have a lot of cats around to eat mice and other vermin; but cats are killers of more than simply a mouse or two. Birds, squirrels, rabbits, and snakes are often the target of a cat's desire to kill. Some will eat their prey; others not. A large population of free roaming cats can have a decidedly negative effect on a broad range of prey animals in a short time.

Killer cats roaming the neighborhood
Killer cats roaming the neighborhood | Source

These and any number of situations like this are normal to speak about and one can find site after site to read up on, educate oneself and correct our behavior. But one avenue of pet ownership that I have not seen addressed, can (and often does) have disastrous results and that is what I would like to speak of right now.

What is this issue? Owners nonchalantly letting their pets roam freely be it in the country or city, town or village. As I stated earlier, cats roaming can and will have a disastrous effect on various smaller species of wild animals ranging from frogs and toads to lizards and snakes. But his is not the only situation that can cause a problem.

To put it bluntly, many pet owners will not clean up after their pets. Dogs doing a number two in their yard over time will build up until a neighbor has the wind shift the smell of the barnyard to their property, and suddenly a cool evening spent outside in play and BBQ ends in disgust as the scent wafts across the yard, turning stomach after stomach.

Or a game of frisbee or catch in the backyard ends as someone steps in a pile of poo left behind by a neighbor's free roaming cat. A shoe is ruined, a tension develops between neighbors all because of a pile of doo doo.

Why?

Do you let your pet roam the neighborhood?

See results

Did it ever occur to you that your pet may be defecating in your neighbor's yard?

See results
Don't be THAT owner!
Don't be THAT owner! | Source

It has been my experience that some owners simply do not think about where their pet defecates. They feed the pet and turn it out to roam nightly, much like the Flintstone's cartoon where Fred brings in the dog and puts out the cat for the night. The cat seeks a wild thing to stalk and crosses boundaries it has no means of knowing about. When it feels the urge, it fulfills that urge wherever it might be at that moment in time, be it its owner's yard or the neighbor's.

There are also a large number of truly feral cats which have resulted from undesired breeding's or poor choices by humans that end up with a cat turned out or dumped along the road somewhere. These poor animals do not receive health care and end up with intestinal parasites that "come out" in the wash. Then other animals (dogs seem to love cat doo doo) nibble onthe "delicacies" and end up ill, sometimes deathly so. It is sad, it is unlawful and it occurs far too often.

As I said, I believe a large portion of pet owners simply do not think about this unpleasantness and frayed nerves or worse are the result. Some neighbors are hesitant to speak with the owner for fear of reprisal and in today's world reprisal can come swiftly. But I also think some owners simply do not care. Oftentimes a cat is a barely pet, one that seems self sufficient and not needing the owner as a dog does. And so the owner puts out water and food, and allows the cat to run freely about the neighborhood not caring whose yard is befouled or whose blood pressure they may be causing to rise.

And that is my message: if you are one of these owners who are not thinking about your pet roaming, maybe you should be a tad more responsible. Think about it: perhaps you need to bring your cat indoors and be a full time responsible owner. If you are feeding them, you need to be cleaning up after them. In addition, know this: your pet running the neighborhood is likely crossing streets, going through yards containing large dogs or other dangers and could become injured or worse. And then your kids will be wondering where Fluffy went to and you will have to be the one explaining why Fluffy isn't coming home. Imagine the look on your son or daughter's face if you are driving them to school the next morning and they see their pet lying dead on the side of the road up the street from your home, having been run over by a car. Do you really want this?

Then keep your pet at home! The added benefits of being a responsible owner who is a caring owner will make our pets safer, healthier and you will end up eliminating a problem with your neighbors you may not have known existed.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Rahuljain2 

      2 months ago

      Hey, could you recommend some good treats for my 1 ear old lab ? He loves puffy bars by Dogsee Chew a lot, it keeps him busy :P

      Do you have any other such good options to suggest ?

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      2 years ago from Central Florida

      Good idea. I didn't know about the moth ball trick. I have a plant bed that cats keep pissing in. If I drop moth balls in the bed, will it work without harming my plants?

    • Mr Archer profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr Archer 

      2 years ago from Missouri

      A couple of days ago, I saw one of the neighbor's cats beginning to create its "scat pile". My wife ran out there before I could (to prevent me from throwing one of my hoard of walnuts at it) and it scampered away, over the fence into its own yard. After looking where it had been we found we had prevented a pile of steaming doo doo. She was good; I wasn't. I told her that if I find any crap in the yard, I was tossing it over the fence...

      into their pool. Caddyshack, anyone?

      I have hung up some moth balls on one side of the yard and it seems to be working for those cats, I guess its time to hang some on the other side of the yard.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      2 years ago from Central Florida

      My cats are indoor cats, so I don't have to worry about them doing their business in my neighbors yards. Which is why it irks me to know end when I find cat or dog poo in my yard. You're so right. It starts with an unpleasant scent in the breeze and - too often - a nasty squish between the toes.

      Keep after your pets and pick up after them, folks. Or you may just find others using your yard as a litter box depository! Payback's a bitch.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)