Showing Compassion for Dogs
By Michelle Liew
I rescued my frisky Jack Russell Terrier, who passed away from lymphoma two years ago, from the Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Singapore.
Disciplining this dominant little fellow was a challenge. He constantly jumped on my sofa and fell asleep on its handles. A noisy boy, he served as a doorbell which “rang” whenever someone passed the front door of my apartment.
Still, I never regretted showing him compassion or giving him a home. He enriched our lives for 13 years.
Before this turns into an emotional tale, I must state that showing compassion to animals does not mean giving them lots of cuddles, though their high level of cuteness makes me do it every day. They need more constructive forms of compassion instead.
To start, we should not throw litter haphazardly on the pavements in our parks. It is not only harmful to the environment, but also unkind to animals. Sweets always tempt us. Little dogs, too, find them tantalizing. But they are also dangerous, because dogs easily ingest them.
Further, not all “human” food is pet-friendly. Pets cannot take in delectable treats like macadamia nuts or chocolate, which has theobromine that would kill a dog within minutes.
Many people already feed strays on the streets, but this is not the best way to help them because the food, left behind with good intentions, attracts rats. The best way to show compassion to a stray dog is to contact a no-kill shelter or better yet, volunteer at one.
You are compassionate to a dog if you introduce a little hygiene. Groom and bathe dogs regularly, more often if they have active lifestyles.
Show compassion to a little dog by not leaving it alone for too long.. I just passed a shop house where a little puppy lives. I remember its whines, because it was left alone in the dark, at night, for what must have been a few hours. Leaving a light on to help it deal with its separation anxiety would have been more assuring.
Never chain them in the sun either. Controlling a feisty dog by leashing it and leaving it alone outdoors is tempting. But finding it a restricted spot indoors is a far better alternative. In the hotter months, brachycephalic breeds like bulldogs and shih thus may suffer from heat stroke. They have elongated palates and short noses, making it more difficult for air to pass through their nasal passages.It causes them to heat up quickly.
Of course, the best way to show compassion for a little dog is to do it even before you take it home. Buy it from a responsible breeder instead of a puppy mill, which often house hundreds of puppies in confined conditions. Many of them become injured.
Showing compassion for a little dog does not take emotional dramatics, but a few common sense practices.
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