The vast majority of pet owners love and care for them as if they were their own children. However, this way of acting with them, in particular by lending them human behavior, can potentially disrupt some of their senses.
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Indeed, few people realize it, but unlike wild animals, pets live full time in the world of humans. The fact that they are immersed in this sphere and in this rhythm which does not necessarily correspond to their initial instinct has consequences for their psychological well-being and their overall state of health. Often pets such as dogs and cats are such a part of our lives that they are full members of the family.
As a result, by dint of following the way of life of humans, the animals in our homes undergo a real humanization. According to the Federation of Food Manufacturers for Dogs, Cats and Birds (FACCO), France has nearly 80 million pets. In fact, experts estimate that in 2021, one in two homes is home to one or more of them. Unsurprisingly, the most numerous mammals are cats with around 14.2 million individuals.
And precisely, on their subject, the journalist Yolaine De La Bigne, founder of the Summer University of the animal and the World Day of Animal Intelligences, explains: “we are so addicted to these little balls of fur that we even come to call them ‘cat-dogs’, because they are cats who, like dogs, no longer go out, have lots of toys, are cuddled and brushed all day, go out on a leash and act like their masters. In the United States, they are given medication to treat their anxiety. Some animals even start to get completely anxious when their human goes to work. The same goes for our dogs who, unlike their stray congeners of the 18th century, had no problems when they were much more on their own. In the past, they were neither obese nor anxious, as many have become today with greater domestication and complicity with humans. »
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Many other examples can come to confirm this theory, and in particular the way in which we feed our pets. More and more veterinarians and other specialists in the sector are realizing that dogs and cats are having more problems with obesity than even 20 or 30 years ago. This can be explained by the fact that the pets present in our homes bring us back to our own paradoxes, those with which we are confronted on a daily basis and which we can feel in the relationship that we have with them.
“Animal obesity is symptomatic of a society where many humans are overweight due to a sedentary lifestyle, due to malnutrition. Some animals are obese because we tend to overfeed them and act with them as we do with ourselves. Animals suffer from being locked up in apartments in a society where there is not enough physical activity. These are full of markers, among others, of the mistakes that we have” declared Georges Chapouthier, member of the Fondation Droit Animal Éthique et Sciences.Credit: Eric Ward
Pets should not be mistaken for humans
Ditto for most species, like horses. It’s not uncommon to see horse owners spend long hours braiding their manes, giving them treats or brushing them to make their coat shine, but horses really don’t need these. artifices generally invented by Man. Once in the wild, all they want to do is roll around in the grass and gallop across the meadows.
Concretely, if you love your pet and want to see it flourish, the best option is to succeed in keeping an emotional bond with it without taking it away from the spontaneous natural behaviors of its species. To ensure that he is happy, it is therefore necessary to find the right distance and thus maintain a healthy relationship with him.