September is Responsible Dog Ownership month. That’s all well and good because you’re probably an amazing dog parent. You stay informed, you follow safety tips, and you do what’s best for your pup.
But there are those other dog parents out there who make things worse for the rest of us. You’ve probably met some, or all, of the irresponsible people on this list who probably shouldn’t have a dog in the first place.
Here are some of the most annoying dog parents that we can all agree are the absolute worst.
1. The ‘I Don’t Pick Up Poop’ Dog Parent
It’s great that you have such delicate, pristine hands that dare not go near poop, but germophobes should probably not be dog parents.
Dog poop spreads diseases between other dogs. So when you don’t pick up your dog’s poop, you’re putting every other dog at risk. It also attracts rats and pests, which bring even more diseases into the area.
Having a dog can get dirty, and if you can’t pick up poop, you can’t have a dog.
2. The ‘Well, I Feed That To My Dog And They’re Fine’ Dog Parent
Dogs are not humans. Their bodies aren’t the same, and that means there are foods that we eat that are toxic to dogs.
Just because your dog ate chocolate once, twice, or five times without getting sick doesn’t mean it’s not doing harm to their insides.
Do some research and find out what kinds of food your dog can eat before you start shoveling table scraps onto the floor for them.
3. The ‘Don’t Worry, They’re Friendly’ Dog Parent
You may have seen these off-leashers around the park or walking down the street. They have no problem letting their pup run over and greet other people and dogs without permission.
It’s great that your pooch is friendly, but not everyone wants to meet your dog, and not every other dog is friendly. You’re creating a risky situation with strangers and other animals where anything can happen.
Don’t be that person.
4. The ‘I’m Just Going In For Five Minutes’ Dog Parent
These humans want to take their pups out with them for a walk or car ride, but the coffee shop or grocery store doesn’t allow dogs. They figure it’ll be fine to leave their dogs in the car or tied to a pole outside for a few minutes.
This is a bad idea on so many levels. Cars can get deadly hot in a matter of minutes, and leaving your dog outside leaves them open to theft or even attack by another dog.
Leave your pup at home and do errands on your own time. They’ll be happier for it.
5. The ‘Fake Service Dog’ Dog Parent
Service dogs are incredibly important for the people who need them. They aren’t just pets; they’re valuable assistants for getting through day-to-day life.
But some people believe they’re above the rules and should be allowed to take their dog anywhere. So they pretend their dog is a service dog or say they need the animal for “emotional support” when they really don’t. Emotional support dogs are necessary for many people, but you’ve probably seen the fakes who ruin it for everyone.
These people make it harder for those who actually need service dogs or emotional support dogs. It’s a scam, and it needs to stop.
6. The ‘You’re Doing That Wrong’ Dog Parent
You probably appreciate good advice. That’s probably why you read a lot of dog articles written by experts and vets. But when you’re not asking for it, unsolicited advice can be downright irritating.
Everyone has an opinion on everything. Even experts can disagree about how dogs should be walked, fed, trained, or cared for.
So when some stranger comes up out of nowhere and tells you you’re holding your own dog’s leash wrong, or you’re not being strict enough, or you’re not asserting dominance properly, you immediately want to tell them to “buzz off” in the least polite way possible.
And the worst part about these know-it-alls is that they tend to refuse to listen to any advice, themselves. Live and let live, and save the advice for your Facebook friends.
7. The ‘My Dog Never Goes To The Vet And They’re Fine’ Dog Parent
We’re all for natural cures for minor ailments, but your dog still needs to see a professional for at least a checkup.
Maybe your dog has seemed healthy for several years, but you never know what’s going on internally, and you don’t want to wait until it’s too late.
Your dog needs vaccinations and at least a once-a-year check-up — and possibly more if they’re very young or getting a bit older.
8. The ‘Facebook Vet’ Dog Parent
Doing research is great. You should always stay informed about your dog’s health. But we all know that one person who sees a meme or one article on Facebook and, without doing any more research, thinks that it’s totally true.
Don’t be a Facebook veterinarian. Try talking to an actual vet before you change your dog’s diet, exercise routine, or medical care.
Chances are good that your vet has done a lot more research than whoever made that meme.
Do any other irresponsible dog parents bug you? Have you met any of the people on our list? Let us know in the comments below!