Why Do People Give Up Their Dogs?
As difficult as it may seem to animal lovers, some people simply do not want a pet in their lives. Some have had pets previously and others have chosen not to get one in the first place. With as beneficial as living with a pet can be, why would someone not want to share their lives with one?
The American Humane Association (AHA) recently conducted research that may help answer this question. The goal of this study was to help pets remain in their homes and reduce the number of animals euthanized in shelters. The study included responses from people who had never owned pets as well as those who had but chose not to again.
Here are the questions asked as well as the findings from the study thus far:
- Why do people that had a dog before not want one now? Of the respondents, 30% said that they do not want a dog because of the expense of veterinary care. A similar reason was given by another 29% who cited the high cost of pet care in general. Finally, 27% said that time constraints were the primary reason for not getting a dog. It was also noted that several former dog owners do not want to get a new dog due to the loss they suffered when their pets passed.
- Why do people that never had a dog not want one? Looking at the responses for this question, 30% of people said that they are not dog owners because a dog does not fit in with their lifestyle. This includes reasons such as living in too small a space or being too busy to properly care for a dog. Another 30% said the amount of clean up associated with dogs was too much for them. An additional 29% said they didn’t have a dog because of the general expenses of dog ownership.
- Why do people that had a cat before not want one now? Travel is the main reason for resuming a pet-free life, with approximately 28% of respondents noting that they travel too much to be able to provide for a cat in the way they feel that they should. Similar to dog owners, 25% of former cat owners say that they do not want to deal with the necessary cleaning. Finally, 25% of respondents say that they cannot afford the veterinary expense that comes along with pet parentage.
- Why do people that never had a cat not want one? 35% of those who took the survey simply do not like cats, and never want to have one. 29% of people who will not become cat owners say that they are unwilling to deal with a litter box, and 22% of people say that their lifestyles do not lend to having a cat as a roommate. It was also noted that several respondents decided they no longer liked cats as pets after living with one.
These results can perplex pet lovers who willingly take on the responsibility of an animal companion. However, there is a positive side to this survey. Millions of pets are given up each year by owners who are no longer able or willing to care for them. By acknowledging that their home is not a good fit for an animal, those like the respondents noted above are showing good judgment.
The more honestly that we look at our ability to care for animals, the more responsible we become as pet owners-and the better our pets’ lives are overall.