The NGO World Animal Protection reveals the habits of dog owners in Latin America after a study and launches an application to help them give the best assistance to their best friends.
In order to know what the bond between owners and dogs is like in the Latin American continent, the animal welfare NGO based in Costa Rica, World Animal Protection, carried out a survey with more than 10,000 owners throughout Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela, Ecuador and Chile.
The results showed that 95% of the owners see their dogs as children or part of the family. Only 2.6% responded that they see them as pets, and a similar percentage (2.5%) that they see them as their friends.
In turn, they showed that bond between humans and their dogs is present in many areas of the daily life of Latin American families:
- 99% say they have felt distress when their dog gets sick.
- 99% talk to their dog regularly.
- 89% include them in family activities.
- 76% of dogs climb onto their owners' sofa or bed.
- 60% sleep with their owners.
- 56% take them with them on vacation.
"These results confirm that dogs have a very important role in people's lives, and that they are much more than man's best friend," says the doctor. Melania Gamboa, Manager of Veterinary Programs in World Animal Protection.
Not everything is rosy
Although the data is very comforting, it was also possible to see a reverse of the survey that alerted the organization. This is because the data revealed that many pets reach families impulsively or unplanned, without its members knowing how to distribute their care tasks, if the characteristics of the dog are compatible with those of the family or if they really have enough time to take care of it as it needs.
“One in four owners, for example, assures that they acquired their dogs without preparing the house for them, without discussing the responsibility of having it, or distributing the tasks of their care among the members of the family. “This is a worrying situation, because acquiring a dog impulsively puts him at risk of neglect and abuse, especially when the family does not know how to take care of him in illness, when they do not know how to control his temper, or if they simply get bored of having a pet at home ”, reasons Gamboa.
The poor preparation of owners to take care of their dogs is reflected in some data from the survey:
- 17% of owners have not vaccinated their dogs in the last year.
- 35% do not deworm it as often as recommended: every three to six months.
- 41% bathe them too little or too often, which can harm the health of their skin and coat.
- 30% take them to the vet less than once a year, only if they get sick, or never.
- 20% take them out for walks infrequently, less than twice a week.
A new app to promote dog care
In order to better inform owners and help them get the care they need for their dogs, World Animal Protection launched the Barkyard free mobile app, With lots of information for the owners!
It provides articles on health, nutrition, animal behavior and how to create a positive environment for dogs. In addition, it explains how to give them first aid since very few know what to do in case of a medical emergency.
The app, developed by veterinarians and experts in animal welfare, seeks to be a kind of veterinary assistant with easy access, so it includes a calendar to schedule activities related to our dogs, a trivia game with which the owners can win digital awards and learn to improve the bond with your dog, as well as reminders for vaccinations, bathing, walks and visits to the vet, among other points.
Barkyard is available for download on Android and iOS mobile devices, in app stores and at barkyard.dog.