Pet neglect happens for various reasons. The top five reasons owners neglect their dogs and cats is the owner’s lack of time, cost of pet care, them being unaware of the required commitment needed before adopting, needs of the pets daily regimes and training. But whatever the reason, there are always solutions. It's important to take corrective measures so that mild pet neglect does not turn into full-on animal abuse.

1. Lack of Time

Dogs and cats require attention, and giving them the proper care they need takes a lot of your time. Some people think that getting a young animal, such as a puppy or a kitten, is a great idea simply because the baby animals are cute. But remember that young animals need more time, care and patience on your part than most older animals.

Different activities that require the owner’s time include feeding, exercising, playing, and taking care of the pet's overall health. It is important to ensure proper nutrition for your pet. By feeding the animal the proper diet, the proper proportion, on a set schedule pet owners can ensure that their animal’s nutrition needs are met.

This means that owners cannot forget to feed their animals, and they must check on their pets frequently. Pets need daily exercise. This is not limited to taking a dog on a walk. All pets need some type of physical activity every day to stay in shape. Different types of exercise, for example, could be a cat climbing or chasing a toy, a hamster running on a wheel or in a ball, and a dog playing fetch.

It is important to take the time to build a bond with your pet and one of the best ways to do this is through adequate play time. Even if all of the nutrition needs and physical needs are met, pets need proper health care. It is important to take your pet to the veterinarian to get heartworm prevention, regular checkups, dental health checkups, and vaccines.

dog at vet

2. Cost of Pet Care

As mentioned previously, all pets have nutrition needs as well as healthcare needs. Both of these needs cost money. Make sure you consider in your budget for healthcare costs especially for emergencies. Emergency visits can easily cost hundreds if not thousands.

In addition to pets getting sick or injured, pets need regular health care and checkups. Vaccines, heartworm prevention, dental care, and veterinarian visits can become costly. If the pet becomes sick or gets injured expensive testing or x-rays may be needed to diagnose the animal’s condition.

Then, medication or treatment may be prescribed to help the animal get better. All of these costs add up quickly and if an owner is financially unable to care for their pet, the pet may not get the care they need when they need it.

stressed dog owner

3. Unaware of the Commitment

Pets are often bought or adopted around Christmas time. While it may seem like a good idea at the time, many of these animals end up in a shelter or given away because the owners were not aware of the commitment that the pet requires.

Time and money are two of the biggest commitments that pets need from their owners. They need their owners to take the time to care for them by feeding them, exercising them, playing with them, and caring for their overall health. These things not only take time, but they take money, too.

In addition to time and money, some pets need regular cleaning, special housing, and training. Hamsters, rabbits, guinea pigs, turtles, fish, and so many more small animals that live in cages or tanks need their habitat to be cleaned regularly. This is important to keep the animal healthy as well as your home free from foul pet odors.

Cats need tick and flea treatments, vaccines, toys, food bowls, and a litter box. Keeping the litter box clean may seem like an easy task at first, but there is a long-term commitment that owners must give to their cats.

All puppies need certain supplies: a bed, food bowls, grooming, vaccines, and heartworm preventative. Grooming isn’t just a bath every once in awhile, grooming also includes trimming the dog’s fur, brushing their fur, and trimming their nails. If not groomed properly, a dog’s nails can grow very long and cause the animal pain.

dog hugging owner

4. They Don’t Know the Needs of a Pet

Finally, owners may neglect their pets simply because they are unaware of the animal’s needs. Just like humans, pets need proper shelter, food and water, health care, exercise, socialization, and love. By taking a class, reading pet-specific books, watching videos, and talking to other people who own pets, new pet owners can gain the knowledge that they need in order to properly care for a pet. We currently have a YouTube page that is a one-stop shop for everything you need to know about having a dog.

dog training

5. Their Pet Needs Proper Training

Proper training can help owners better care for their pet because they will be able to give their pet directions without getting overwhelmed or stressed out. It can help teach dogs how to properly walk on a leash, greet other people, sit, stay, and so much more. Training is imperative for housebreaking dogs, too.

If a pet hasn’t been properly trained their owner may resort to crating the animal or chaining it outside. This leads to neglect because the needs of the animal are no longer being met.

Training can be expensive. It requires a lot of time, patience, and practice. An alternative to expensive training are videos and specific training books. Even if you attend training classes with your pet, you will need to reinforce what has been practiced in class at home for the training to become second nature. Training does not always come easy to the animal. They need continuous, positive reinforcement which can become frustrating for the owner.

Lack of time, cost of care, need for commitment, knowing the pet’s needs, and getting proper training are just some of the reasons why a pet may be neglected. Make sure you take the time to consider and manage expectations when getting a new pet so you can make it their forever home.

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5 Reasons Why Some Owners Neglect Their Pets

Diana currently lives and works in London, UK and she's been an animal lover and dog owner since she was a child. After graduating high school, she focused on getting her degree in English to become a writer with a focus on animals, pets and dogs.