Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 20 of 67 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I do not feel that i am a responsible dog owner.
I know better... I know that the care my dogs receive is sacrificed.

I used to have a dog named Ruckus (rip) he was a sheltie. I was a responsible dog owner, he got proper care.
Everyone day i took him for atleast an hour walk. some days we went hiking in the woods and some days through town. And every night i used to brush his teeth and brush his coat out.
Ruckus, never had a flea. I was very diligent about his flea and heartworm preventive. He was bathed and fluffed dried every month with "show dog" shampoo that was three times as expensive as what you get at walmart.
I fed him grain free dog food, the best on the market (in my opinion)

Well now, I have 5 dogs and 4 cats. I make about 9.50 an hour. basically i only make enough money to pay my bills and feed my animals. I did this to myself and just couldnt say no. Most of these dogs would be euthanized if i didnt take them in. I dont see how i could say no, didnt feel like it was a choice.

Now i feed my dogs pedigree. They do not get regular walks, and when they get walked it is for about 45 minutes. there are just too many to take walking all at once. and it is hard for me to seem to find adequate time to walk again the same day. none of my dogs need much grooming, thank goodness.. and i havent never brushed thier teeth although i know the benefits of it. it just seems like a big hassle and with so many dogs i guess i have convened myself that it was unnecessary.
All my dogs have a few fleas. We do the cheapest thing i can find at the vets, and flea baths in natural citrus shampoo. No, the dogs arent covered in fleas, but i know they have some. I just cant afford for everyone to have a $16 topical a piece.

Ruckus had good dog toys, these guys play with rinsed out soda bottles and toilet paper rolls. yes they have toys, they have many nylabones, but most of there toys are "trash"

This makes me feel like crap.

but my dogs, all my animals are loved dearly. they sleep with me, i train them, i am always interacting with them. they are my life. If they need veterinary care they get it! but we do not do booster shots and rarely a rabies shot. if someone gets a cut i will try to fix it myself at home first before going to a vet... but if they need to go, they go.
i love these dogs so much i bet it is completely unhealthy. my dogs seem to be very happy and well adjusted.
my dogs are all healthy and stay active playing with each other. soon my yard will be fenced in so they can run outside a bit :)

i am very very aware that i cannot have any more dogs or cats, and i dont plan to get any. i understand i just cannot do it.

but i feel like my dogs i have are lacking so much when i think of how well my Ruckus was treated..

sorry so long. Thoughts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
174 Posts
To me, it sounds like you are burned out. Taking care of so many animals with a small budget is extremely stressful emotionally and financially draining. I've hit that point in my life with my pets before and as much as you love them sometimes the best thing to do is rehome them if you honestly feel you are giving them subpar care. I've had to do it before when it I realized it wasn't fair for either me or the dog to choose to pay the rent and forgo expensive but necessary vet care. I've lucked out a few times when its come to my Doberman. She is a high maintenance dog and sometimes I've berated myself for not giving her up when we were homeless and eating rice and beans everyday for weeks.

In the end, only you can decide what would be best for you and your family at this point. It's not an easy decision at all but I wouldn't say the things you've described would seriously count as gross negligence on your part.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,765 Posts
IF any can be re-homed, you might want to consider it, it does sound like you're a bit overwhelmed. But I know that re-homing adult cats and large dogs is near impossible. So it may not even be an option. But there are ways to cope!

Don't feel bad about the toys :D. Dogs love playing with trash. My dogs have a bazillion stuffies and other "dog toys" and still prefer empty milk jugs and paper towel tubes.

There are some things you don't want to skimp on because it will end up costing more in the long run. One is unaltered cats of either gender and unspayed female dogs. If any cats or female dogs are unaltered, just find the money somewhere (beg, borrow, pawn, etc.). Kittens and puppies and tomcat odor remover and pyo spays are all way more expensive than a routine spay/neuter. If the male dogs go unneutered, no biggie as long as you keep them contained. Another thing is rabies shots, at least for the dogs and outdoor cats (if any). Trying to defend yourself against a bite incident involving a pet that's not UTD on rabies vaccine is not cheap. Also heartworm preventive. Treating it is $$$.

And there are ways to save money and still provide better care. If you buy the largest size of Advantage II or Frontline, you can split it among all the pets (yes, the cats, too. But ONLY those 2 brands!! And Revolution but it's expensive) and save a bundle. Buy a thing of Ivomec and you can prevent heartworms year-round in all of them for less than one pack of Heartgard. Buy a bottle of generic pyrantel pamoate for $25 and have a few year's worth of de-wormer. Info on how to do these things is available online, just Google.

If I remember correctly, Pedigree isn't all that inexpensive. And the ingredient list looks a lot like Ol' Roy (bleh). If I had to buy a cheap food, I'd go with Purina Dog Chow. It's cheaper than Pedigree and has slightly better ingredients.

If you need any more tips on how to keep pets healthy without going broke, you can PM me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,851 Posts
I also think if you are too stressed to care for them, financially or emotionally, maybe you should look for good homes for a couple of them. We all want to do what's right, and love our dogs.

I don't feel you have to have the best of everything to properly care for your pets. Spending hundreds on toys, supplements, clothes, etc is not necessary. Providing medical care and walks, grooming, and spending time with them is important.

I know first hand how tough it is dealing with several dogs. I own six, and often take in rescues, also some for training. It takes every free minute I have to give them proper care and time, and I work extra to cover their expenses. I love doing it though.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,240 Posts
It sounds like you're doing a much better job compared to my mother! She just makes excuses all around but you're actually trying. I think pedigree is better than Ol' Roy or something like that and I honestly walk my dog less than once a week, that really depends on your dog's energy level and ability to entertain itself without getting into trouble I think. Roxie can burn energy just running around the house at top speed for a couple minutes.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,765 Posts
Was this the reason you made that hoarding thread?

This story whether it's you or whoever is what I would consider borderline hoarding. The animals aren't getting the care they deserve. Like you said, they have fleas, aren't eating good food, aren't getting walked as much as they should etc. They're are at least getting the bare minimum care but obviously that's not a great situation for them. Ideally I would find other homes for most of the pets. As emotionally difficult as that may be for the owner, it may be what's best for the animals.

Re-homing with family and friends could be an option. It could even be a temporary re-homing in some cases to help until you get back on your feet financially.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,765 Posts
One thing to consider is that this is perfectly average care. Everybody I know (personally, not on the interwebz) feeds their pets something bought at Wal-Mart. Very few dogs I know get walked daily. A few fleas here and there? Pretty normal. Brushing their teeth? Haha! So even if the pets are re-homed, would they get better care? Probably not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,917 Posts
One thing to consider is that this is perfectly average care. Everybody I know (personally, not on the interwebz) feeds their pets something bought at Wal-Mart. Very few dogs I know get walked daily. A few fleas here and there? Pretty normal. Brushing their teeth? Haha! So even if the pets are re-homed, would they get better care? Probably not.
This is pretty much my feeling about it.

That isn't to say that OP isn't stressed out, burned out, or happy - and the very fact that they *FEEL THEY CAN"T SAY NO* worries me for *them* - rather than the animals. I don't think this his hoarding - mental illness, remember?. I do think the question being asked makes it pretty clear that they're aware that something is wrong, and I agree with that.. Feeling pressured into taking dogs and feeling you have no choice is something that needs work, more maybe than the immediate issue of the care the dogs are receiving. This is how situations just get plain out of hand, it leads to resentment of the dogs, stops people from forming a bond with them - and that lack of bond, as much (and maybe more than) the numbers lowers quality of care.

OP? If you do rehome some, no one is going to judge you, but do whatever it takes to get that 'can't say no' thing taken care of. Otherwise, you're going to be in this exact same situation, again. I spent a long time in therapy because I felt like I couldn't say no, to anyone. Slightly different, but still a great way to totally feel out of control, anxious, and miserable with your life. And, of course, it needs saying: "You can not save them all. IT is better to give a few a fantastic quality of life, than more a life that neither you, nor they, are as happy as they could be."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
thank you guys so much for your opinions.

i know i cannot have anymore dogs, and im not getting anymore. i realize i cant. but i know i got into this situation because i couldnt say no.
i think i am past that...

either way, my guys were on heartworm preventive last year and this year the vets in town stopped caring interceptor and i have collie mixes. i know i can get trifexis but i have to drive 45 minutes to get it at the time, and my car is shit and i am scared to go that far from home. i know i can get it delivered to my door through petmeds, but i have to buy a whole box, and i cant do it right now.

i did recently (4 months ago) have all the dogs tested for heartworm, all negative.

i groom dogs and i see dogs with loads more fleas than mine. my flea issue is not bad at all, and i think most of the issue is due to the cats... i seem to have a much harder time keeping fleas off of them.

also, i do take the dogs hiking on the weekends and to the creek. sometimes we go to the dog park (once a month maybe) and we go to the enclosed ball park to let them run.

right now all extra money i have is being put up so i can afford a fence soon. i feel like it will greatly improve our lives!

all of my critters are altered but two female cats. they are indoor only, and i am waiting until our shelter has another special on cat fixin's and im gonna do it for sure.

all of the babies are microchipped.

they are all trained (sit, stay, come when called, not to pull on the leash, wave, shake, high five, dance, etc etc) i spend a lot of time bonding with my dogs and training them.

i mainly feel like crap because i feed a crappy dog food, and they do not get enough walks...
as far as rabies vac, they get there first one, and a few years later i will do it again (they are one year shots, not three year shots) and i do boosters (parvo distemper, etc) about every 4 years. and its because of what i had read, thats all really necessary (am i wrong?)

id never had dreamed of treating Ruckus like this.

sometimes i supplement the dogs diet with freezer burnt meat and healthy left overs from my plate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,765 Posts
I believe that you don't need to repeat rabies vaccines as often as is legally required. They're effective for a long time. It's just the legal angle. You might want to find a vet who will sign off on 3-year rabies just to be safe.

You can get 8 cat-sized doses from one large vial of Advantage. If you buy it from the right place you can get it down to a dollar a dose. And diatomaceous earth is pretty cheap, too.

Be careful with those 2 kitties! Cats in heat are crazy escape artists. And female cats tend to have. . .issues when intact and not bred. Not pyo technically, but some nasty uterine thing. Hope the shelter has a kitty fixin' soon!

They say that the tiny bit of ivermectin needed for heartworm prevention isn't harmful to Collies, only high doses like they use for mange and stuff. I dunno. Depends how prevalent heartworm is in your area.

But, yeah, it sounds like your pets get better care than a lot of pets. Don't worry so much!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
thank you.

i battle with depression and at times the fur babies are indeed over whelming and my situation just makes me feel like i cant take it anymore. i accuse myself of being an unfit owner and it just makes me feel worse..

however when im not depressed i am not nearly as overwhelmed and dont tend to think im a terrible owner, however i cannot say i am the dog owner that my dogs deserve...

keep the opinions coming and dont worry about offending me guys. means a lot to me
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,917 Posts
thank you.

i battle with depression and at times the fur babies are indeed over whelming and my situation just makes me feel like i cant take it anymore. i accuse myself of being an unfit owner and it just makes me feel worse..

however when im not depressed i am not nearly as overwhelmed and dont tend to think im a terrible owner, however i cannot say i am the dog owner that my dogs deserve...

keep the opinions coming and dont worry about offending me guys. means a lot to me

Read this:
Cognitive Distortions. It's something my psychologist pointed me to, when I was struggling with anxiety (big time). It DOES apply to what you're saying about how you feel/think about yourself as a pet owner. These, in particular.



2. Polarized Thinking (or “Black and White” Thinking).

In polarized thinking, things are either “black-or-white.” We have to be perfect or we’re a failure — there is no middle ground.


10. Shoulds.

We have a list of ironclad rules about how others and we should behave. People who break the rules make us angry, and we feel guilty when we violate these rules. A person may often believe they are trying to motivate themselves with shoulds and shouldn’ts, as if they have to be punished before they can do anything.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
oh wow thanks! they are talking about me in that link, i just know it. sounds just like me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,310 Posts
however i cannot say i am the dog owner that my dogs deserve...
Hey, none of us is the perfect anything. It sounds like you are doing the best that you can. Your dogs are loved and you doing what you can with the resources you have. That's a whole lot more than lots of dogs have. The dogs I had when I was a kid lived on Skippy dog food, Gravy Train kibble and lots of leftover family dinner. They lived well into their teens. They were loved, happy and healthy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,917 Posts
oh wow thanks! they are talking about me in that link, i just know it. sounds just like me.
That list helped me so, so much - it made me understand that some of the things my brain was doing - was neither uniquely horrible *or* quite right. Being able to RECOGNIZE things like globalization or catastrophic thinking or - whatever - really helped me get some perspective and be a little more... I don't know, balanced. Be able to say 'Okay, what I'm FEELING is not an indicator of reality, here. Back it up, let's rationally examine this.'. Hard work and pretty exhausting, but overall that list was HUGELY relieving for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
689 Posts
Hey, my mom and I fed our dogs Ol'Roy many years ago. They survived.
I can't even remember the last time I bought a toy for my dogs...I usually make my own out of old rope, old stuffed animals, pop bottles etc. I find my home made toys last longer than store-bought anyway...plus they're free!
And brushing teeth? I don't usually do it unless they really need it. I give them bones to help keep their teeth clean.

I'd say you're doing alright. I know of lots of people who have the money and they treat their pets worse than you do.
So yes, don't worry so much! :)

And definitely get good at saying NO in the future. It's hard for me to say no sometimes as well which is why I don't go in shelters (either I walk out holding back tears or with a leash in my hand) or look at Petfinder or Craigslist often. Unfortunately we can't save them all...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,215 Posts
Aw don't beat yourself up!
Like a lot of people have said, your dogs have it better then most dogs. Some people can't even treat one pet as well as your treating all yours so that's saying a lot. :)

I also think the fact that you know they could have better food etc is saying a lot. Shows that you care and that your not ignorant to the situation, like most pet owners who think pedigree is the bees knees. If it means saving 5 dogs and feeding crap rather then just saving one and feeding them better food, I know what I'd pick!
You must have a heart of gold to put yourself through this just for your pets. And at least you know your limits.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,658 Posts
I just wanted to say, it sounds like you're doing your best at the moment, and that counts for a lot. Friends of ours have a husky cross who almost never gets a proper walk, just gets tied up in the yard on a 15 ft lead.

Dogs are a lot like children... better to have a dog that, maybe doesn't get the fanciest toys, but spends lots of time with you and loves you than a dog that gets all the fanciest things, most expensive food, etc. and doesn't listen to you, isn't trained, and has behavioural problems. If it comes down to it, a well-behaved/trained dog will be easier to re-home, which will count for a lot if you go that route.
 
1 - 20 of 67 Posts
Top