Understanding Neglect

Understanding Neglect

Neglecting pets is a serious issue that can lead to immense suffering and is, unfortunately, more prevalent than we might realise. Neglecting pets means failing to meet their basic needs, akin to neglecting the needs of any individual. Sadly, more than half of the cases of animal cruelty and welfare investigated by the SPCA involve pets suffering due to neglect.

Common cases the SPCA attends to include:

  • Hoarding Situations: Imagine multiple pets cramped together in unsanitary conditions. This is an unfortunate reality in hoarding situations where animals endure suffering due to overcrowded and dirty surroundings. Find out more here.
  • Unsuitable Housing: Whether it is rabbits confined to small cages or dogs left out on balconies for hours on end, these unsuitable living conditions deprive pets of the space and comfort they need to thrive.
  • Exposure to Elements: Pets exposed to harsh weather conditions or left in stationary vehicles face significant risks to their health and well-being.
  • Lack of Medical Attention: Neglect occurs when pets go without necessary veterinary attention, leading to preventable suffering and health issues.
  • Weight Concerns: Just like humans, pets can suffer from being underweight or overweight. Maintaining a healthy weight is vital for their overall well-being.

To keep our pets happy and healthy, we need to provide them with the following:

  • Food: A diet suitable for your pet’s needs and age
    Water: Clean and fresh water that is accessible at all times.
  • Shelter: A safe and comfortable place to rest with sufficient shade and comfort.
  • Veterinary care: Regular health check-ups, annual vaccinations, monthly preventatives, and immediate visits to the vet when your pet is behaving out of the norm or is unwell/injured.
  • Exercise: Pets need regular physical activity to stay healthy and prevent obesity-related health issues.
  • Social Interactions: Some pets thrive on social interactions with their own kind, while others prefer solitude. For instance, rabbits and guinea pigs are happiest when kept in pairs, whereas hamsters are solitary creatures and may fight if housed together. Keep in mind that rabbits and guinea pigs can breed quickly, so it is important to sterilise them if you’re keeping a male and female pair together.
  • Enrichment: Enrichment toys provide valuable stimulation for our pets, especially during the times when we are not in the house. They offer mental and physical engagement, ensuring our pets stay occupied and content.
  • Grooming: Regular grooming according to your pet’s needs is important in maintaining hygiene and health. This can include brushing their fur and teeth, trimming their nails, and cleaning their ears. Be sure to read up on the appropriate grooming methods that are recommended for your pet’s species and breed.
  • Love and attention: Pets thrive on love, attention, and companionship. Atypical behaviour can be a sign of underlying medical issues or reflective of your pet’s overall well-being.

Pets are our friends for life. Like us, they are sentient beings capable of feeling hunger, thirst, pain, and love.