Life is busy right now.  That happens – life being busy.  It’s hard to keep up.  Priorities have to be made and then one goes from there.

This blog?  I can put it aside.  This post?  Short and sweet! – Time….time is the issue.

Once upon a time, dogs did their own thing.  Roamed the neighborhood, hung out with each other, did…dog things.  Whatever that was.  And now? If you live in the United States, Canada, Europe or many other places, your dogs may well be dependent on you 100% for their quality of life.   You feed them, provide them with a place to live, exercise them, and in short, are responsible for, and control, everything that makes their life worth living.

Our modern expectations regarding “responsible” pet ownership keeps them safe; it’s a lot harder to be hit by a car if you’re locked in the house or crated when not being directly watched. That’s the good part – being safe from physical harm. The trade-off is that owning a pet means that you are now responsible for any and all entertainment that they receive. And when life gets busy? Then what happens?  This is particularly true if you won’t let your dogs play with each other, or explore your yard, or you don’t train them, or if you crate your dogs when not directly supervised or or or….

I find it helpful to look at each dog and decide what is their highest level priority. For some dogs it is personal attention. Cuddling on the bed and a belly rub pretty much does the trick. For another dog, it’s mental stimulation – setting up an intense training session will keep their needs in balance. And for another it’s moving their body. They need to get out and run and explore.

There is nothing simple about providing for the needs of your pets when the realities of life take over.

You decide for yourself how much responsibility you take for providing your dogs with an interesting and sufficiently engaged life. What is sufficiently engaging for you is probably different than for me. And that’s fine.  But today might be a good day to think about it.

Here’s Brito. What he needs is to get out and explore the world. What your dog needs may be different.

When deciding if you want to get a pet, or add an additional pet, or schedule your life, consider this dependency – your dog needs you and has no choice about what they get.  Make an effort.