I have posted several times some of the finer things that I have stumbled across in pet stores, boutiques, etc in this country and abroad. Beef bourguignon snacks are just one in a dizzying array of overpriced treats I found in a trendy store in an equally trendy town in NY recently. If someone could bottle the swill that collects after a good rain, in my flower pots, my dog would go nuts for it. Let’s face it, they eat toilet paper and refuse. These products are marketed to us buyers, thinking we should buy the best for our pets. It got me to thinking about my own style, and budget, for pet parenting. Which further got me to thinking about my style and budget for my (human) parenting: my 3 children that is. And by extension, it got me thinking about this in the general population.
So, I wonder if I indulge my dog more than my children?! I know that people seem to spare no expense when it comes to fancy treats, outfits, and doggie daycare. Do they, and would they, do the same for their 2 legged children? Probably. But now, there are services that are available to pet owners that almost cross the line into overkill. When you step back and think, would I do this for my child, and say no, then maybe you might agree with me that it might be too much for our pets. Maybe there are, I dare say, just too many options.
Case in point. Petzi is a “treat cam” that allows you to monitor and interact with your pet while you are out of the home. You can see them with a camera, and photograph them, without their knowledge, speak to them, and then dispense treats (less than 1 inch in size) at will from the dispenser. Hmm. Right off the bat, this strikes me as a bit intrusive, and a little scary. If I were a dog at home, and I heard my mom’s voice calling to me from a little box, I would be freaked out. And then, wham! a biscuit comes flying out at me a few seconds later, randomly, when I didn’t do anything special to deserve it. That’s just kinda confusing-no? And imagine using this type of “nanny-cam” with your children. Teenagers in fact! Taking pictures of them while they were unaware?! I don’t think so. Yes, you can cruelly taunt them from work, saying things like “I saw you put that dirty cereal bowl in the sink! Cmon, the dishwasher is 6 inches away…” or “I just counted 10 seconds of brushing your teeth. You are not even halfway through the Happy Birthday song. You know it and, more importantly, I KNOW IT”. Ew. That’s just creepy and wrong.
One other thing. My friend is, arguably, the most caring, thorough, wonderful pet parent I know. Her dog goes to restaurants, puppy day care, has play dates, and is monitored and cared for to the highest level imaginable. And she thinks this is a bit much. For all it’s worth.
If you wouldn’t do it for your human children, why do it for your 4 legged ones? And, I foresee lots of anxiety produced in the dogs or cats. Veterinary behaviorists out there, what are your thoughts?
Here is another product that got me thinking. The thunder shirt is a product that, in my experience, sometimes helps calm pets. I think that proper patient selection is key, because many people try to use it for situations when it is not indicated.
This display shows that you can get them in various dog and cat sizes, can get calming treats to go along with it, etc. Just one question? What exactly does “INSANELY CALM” mean. Insane and calm just don’t go together, in my mind. But again, that’s just me. Who knew all this pondering would occur on a simple trip to Petsmart for dog food, but it did.
And oops! There I go admitting that I shop for my dog’s food in PetSmart. Please don’t judge me. I can recall going into a small local chain pet food/supply store near my home, over 10 years ago. When I asked if they carried Science diet, they excoriated the company, and by extension, me, for even considering such a terribly “unpure, adulterated,…” diet. If I could be nearly made to leave there with my head hanging in shame, imagine the guilt they have laid upon countless other, presumably less knowledgeable (animal related) consumers. Needless to say, I have not returned in a decade. But this brings to light a situation I see arising. Parents often judge other parents based on how they raise their children, including what they feed them. There are certain people I can think of who I know would judge me if they saw me leaving a Burger King with my children. Evidently, you can now be judged based on what you feed your dog or cat, and thus by how you parent them. It’s not right, it just IS.
Dogs need to know they are loved. Their bowl does not need to tell them they are a good dog. The same, obviously, goes for cats. Your actions tell them so. And they will love you just the same, no matter the price of their food.
I am not saying that you shouldn’t monitor your pet from work with video cameras. I am just saying that I don’t feel the need to. You want to spoil your pet, and feed them expensive food, go right ahead. I have been known to spoil my dog. I am not going to judge you either way, and no one should. If you give them love and affection when you are home, and try to spend time with them , they will be happy and will love you all the more for it. And it will cost you absolutely nothing.