What our pets suffer from and how it affects their behavior
Many pet owners complain about certain problems of pet behavior, but few people realize that these problems are associated with an insufficient level of well-being of a cat or dog. What do our pets suffer from and how does this affect their behavior?
Cats and dogs play a huge role in our lives, positively affect our health and make us happier. But how do we influence the lives of pets? Do we make them happy? Alas, not always.
What do cats and dogs need?
Cats and dogs living nearby dreams can be divided into three categories:
- Stray animals.
- Cats and dogs in shelters.
However, to which of these categories animals would belong, their needs do not change. Absolutely all isobaki cats (like any other animals) have five basic needs:
- Nutrition - the required amount and ratio of nutrients, as well as high-quality food.
- The environment is quite diverse and implies the possibility of choice.
- Health. Good health means being in good physical condition, lack of injuries and diseases.
- Behavior: This also includes relationships with other beings, and these relationships must be pleasant and safe.
- Psychological state. Animals should experience comfort, pleasure, interest and feel safe.
Of course, when we talk about animal welfare issues, we need to consider their living conditions.Dogs from a crowded shelter face different problems than dogs from city apartments. And although it seems that animals that are lucky enough to fall into the category of pets, live their best lives, they also often suffer.
What do domestic dogs suffer from?
Most often, domestic dogs suffer from a lack of intellectual stress, abuse, and also loneliness. As a result, behavioral problems such as separation anxiety, aggression, and destructive behavior develop. Each of these problems is a symptom of a dog’s distress, and with the help of “bad behavior” the dog tries to cope with distress.
Another problem that domestic dogs face is insufficient physical activity due to the fact that the owners do not devote enough time and attention to the dog, as well as the inability to walk without a leash. Obesity becomes the result of a lack of physical activity, coupled with overfood.
Another, no less important, problem is the lack of any choice for the dog. The owner decides where the dog sleeps, with whom it plays, when and where it walks, what it eats, whether it breeds or not. Of course, uncontrolled breeding is not an option, but although occasionally giving the dog the opportunity to choose food (for example, offering two bowls to choose from), equipping several sleeping places for the pet so that he can decide where he wants to rest today, or give the dog the opportunity to determine the direction walking is sometimes very useful.
What behavioral problems do dogs show?
A study in the UK found that in 85% of cases of dog abandonment, behavioral problems were the cause. A study conducted in 2011 in the United States, revealed 10 main problems of dog behavior:
- Manifestations of aggression to people.
- Destructive behavior at home.
- Destructive behavior on the street.
- Relationship problems between pets when a new one appears.
- Aggression to other animals.
- Whining, excessive barking and howling.
Unwanted behavior is the main cause of euthanasia. For this reason, more animals die than from infectious diseases, oncology and metabolic diseases combined.
Awful statistics! And all because the owners do not want to provide the dog with normal living conditions.
What do domestic cats suffer from?
Cats suffer no less than dogs. They also lack intellectual and physical stress and are suffering from obesity.
Cats have unusually developed sensory organs, and they are “sharpened” to track and kill small animals. If the cat is locked in the house 24 hours a day, these skills are not used at all in a lean environment. And what should cats do if the owner does not pay enough attention to them and does not bother to create an enriched environment? Only show destructive behavior! The way out is to offer the cat games that simulate hunting, as well as create an enriched environment.
Studies show that cats adapted to two or three meals a day. But if they have a choice, they prefer to eat a little many times a day.Which is extremely badly consistent with the lifestyle of busy people. Unrestricted access to food may turn out to be a good solution, but this is the cause of obesity in many cats.
Many domestic cats suffer from stress and related diseases of the genitourinary system. Moreover, cats that live in the society of other cats are more likely to suffer from these diseases than murky, which are the only cats in the house. Cats are animals with a limited social circle, it is extremely important for them to choose their own way of communication and with whom - not. And the close proximity of other cats is a very powerful source of stress. Like moving, the emergence of new people and an insufficient number of trays. All this can lead to such problems of behavior as scratching walls and furniture and marking.
And, like dogs, cats very often suffer from a lack of choice.
What else are the studies talking about?
PDSA (People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals), one of Britain’s largest charities, conducts annual well-being surveys of more than 2,000 pets in the UK. He makes suggestions for improving the situation.
For example, a 2013 study showed that:
- In 57% of the houses where cats live, the number of trays is less than the number of cats (and the minimum number should be equal to the number of cats in the house plus one).
- Only 5% of cat owners evaluate the condition of the pet to calculate the amount of feed.
- 90% of cat owners admitted that their cats are afraid of something.
- 41% of cats live in the company of other cats.
- The number of dogs that can run without a leash decreased from 77% in 2011 to 66% in 2013.
- Only 17% of dog owners estimate the weight and condition of the pet when calculating the diet.
- 58% of dogs have never attended training classes.
- The number of dogs that are regularly left alone for 5 hours or more has increased from 18% (2011) to 25% (2013).
So, although the living conditions of dogs and cats are improving thanks to advances in medicine and better nutrition, many of them still suffer from poor living conditions. And the owners as a result - from the "problem behavior" of the pets.