Due to a growing shift in our society pets, now considered family members, have become part of the dogfight. By close of 2014, at least 80 million pets will reside in more than 60 million households across the US. Couples are having fewer kids and more pets (more than $58 billion will be spent on pets in 2014 in US). How often do you hear a pet owner call themselves ‘mom’ or ‘dad’?
I got to keep my Jack Russell but lots of my friends have not been so lucky. Warning: depending on where you reside, the pet dogmas vary. In most cases they are deemed part of the marital property division just like furniture. Cool California has modernized and values their pets more than the family car with a variety of pet custody options from joint to full to visitation rights. Conflicted Florida unfortunately still treats pets as property making it best to resolve issues outside the courtroom.
Luckily, as this societal shift responds to our penchant for our furry companions, the courts are progressing and in some cases treating pets like children. If you haven’t pre-nupped your pooch though, make sure you know the dogmas in your state.
Don’t kid yourself, pets sense strife in the home and are both physically and emotionally affected by us stressed-out humans. So, beware of such signs of pet stress and be kind to these wonderful beings. They don’t get to bark up!
INDICATIONS OF PET STRESS
Intense, extensive licking or yawning
Heavy panting regardless of exertion
Pinned back ears
Lowered head or tail
Human avoidance and inattentiveness
Whimpering and crying
Excessive licking and biting themselves
Unexpected accidents in the home
Be sensitive to these guys. Seek out a pet specialist. Change your behaviour. Help them and you will find you will be helping yourselves in the end.