Pets are an important part of our Mauritian society. When you walk around in any residential area, take a look around. What do you see? There seems to be a pet in every household: a dog in the entrance, a “Beware of the Dog” sign on someone’s gate, a man walking around with his parrot on his shoulder… Pets have made their way to the heart of many individuals. Once they are adopted, they are not only an animal. To pet owners, these animals are considered as friends or even as family members.
Let’s take a moment to think about the most famous pets in the Mauritian society; dogs. Dogs are said to be the most loyal animals to mankind. This theory did not just start in the past decade. According to history, man’s best friend may have been domesticated about 15,000 years ago, evolving from wolves around the time that humans were establishing their first settlements. Ever since, these creatures have evolved alongside their masters, creating a dual responsibility where man gives food and shelter to the animal while the latter protects and serves his master.
However, this “relationship” is not always a perfect fairy tales. There has been thousands of cases where this mutual agreement has not been maintained. You may surely have heard about stories where the dogs attacked their masters or others where the masters perform “animal cruelty”. Unfortunately, both of these are related. Still, many of you may be confused. You must be wondering: What is animal cruelty?
Animal cruelty or animal abuse, is a term used within the Animal Protection Program to describe any use or treatment of animals that seems unnecessarily cruel, regardless of whether the act is against the law. It is also a legal term that describes acts of animal abuse that are against the law. It may be in the form of mercilessly beating of animals, depriving them of food, any inhuman acts inflicting pain to the defenseless creature or even being ignored and not taken care of out of negligence. It is said that due to such deprivation and/or confinement, animals, especially dogs may get aggressive, depressed or sick.
But, nothing has to be this way! Dogs, just like human beings have feelings too. These feelings can be hurt. But it can also be cared for and healed. As human beings, it is our duty show humaneness and discourage animal cruelty. After all, it takes only a few to set the example for others to follow.
To help you move along this path, ELI Africa came up with a list of ways you can adopt to improve your treatment of your dog and ensure that you are doing it the right way.
This is a list of what you can do to give your dog what it deserves:
- Make sure that your dog is in a protected and clean environment.
- Ensure that fresh water is always available.
- See to it that your dog’s food contains the necessary ingredients and nutrients.
- Pay attention to the amount of food you feed your dog to avoid obesity.
- Keep a copy of your dog’s medical reports and visit a veterinarian regularly.
- Provide your dog with opportunities to exercise.
- Spend some time with your dog daily to ensure a healthy relationship.
- Train your dog to ensure understanding between both of you.
- Grooming and nail trimming is also important for your dog’s good health.
- Do not overlook the importance of dental care.
- Seek advice from professionals if your dog’s well-being is concerned.
- Always keep your dog happy. It is always worth it!
Using the above as a guideline, we hope that you can start on building a healthy Master-Pet relationship. Having happy and healthy pets always give a magical satisfaction to pet owners. However, never limit yourself to what you know. You may always learn more things that will help you develop your experience with your dog. Whether it be from books, online resources or a professional, it is important that you do not have any doubts when it comes to your dog.
At ELI Africa, we believe in thinking and acting differently. Your contribution can help us bring about the positive change our society needs. Join us, and together, let’s give dogs the happiness they deserve!