Over the last few years, our dogs have enjoyed a remarkable rise in status. From the dog that was tied in the garden and fed scraps, to the dog that sleeps on a designer bed and eats at the table! To many a dog owner, an aromatherapy massage or a fancy toy may seem an insignificant way to show affection towards an animal that shows us unconditional love. But some owners stretch their molly coddling a bit too far, like in the case of an owner who sleeps on the floor so that her dog can enjoy the comforts of her bed. Not sure whether your pet is seriously spoilt? Take our quiz below to find out just how pampered your pooch is.
1) You celebrate your dog’s birthday by…
a. Throwing a themed birthday party for his closest doggie friends.
b. Making him wear a party hat, getting him a birthday present and cutting a birthday cake.
c. I don’t celebrate the dog’s birthday.
2) When you first met your spouse to be, if she/he was allergic to your dog or hated it at first sight, what would you do?
a. Dump the date.
b. Find a compromise.
c. Get rid of the pet.
3) Your dog’s favourite activities include:
a. Getting aromatherapy massages.
b. Going for a drive in the car.
c. Playing fetch and cuddling with you on the bed.
4) If your dog were kidnapped, how much ransom would you pay to get it back?
a. Anything it takes.
b. A certain fixed amount
c. Not a rupee.
5) Your refrigerator contains:
a. An entire section dedicated to your dog, filled with doggie treats, doggie ice cream, doggie cheese, etc.
b. A few packets of homemade dog biscuits.
c. Human food.
6) Do your children complain to their friends that the family dog gets better treatment than they do?
a. Yes, and I am proud of it.
b. Yes, they regularly complain to me.
c. No, I have never given them cause to feel that way.
7) Your dog is fed:
a. Five meals a day. Starting with scrambled eggs for breakfast and finishing with warm milk and biscuits at night.
b. A balanced diet with a bit of variety thrown in from time to time.
c. The same diet every day.
8) Do you feel guilty leaving your dog at home and going to work?
a. I feel terrible, even though I have hired a full-time maid to play with the dog.
b. I do, but I give him enough toys and treats to stay occupied.
c. No, he is quite happy alone at home.
9) When it rains, your dog goes for a walk:
a. With someone holding an umbrella over his head.
b. In his own doggie raincoat and rain booties.
c. With a collar around his neck. We wipe him off when he gets home.
10) Your dog goes to the grooming salon for:
a. An aromatherapy massage, a bath followed by a blow dry and gets her nails painted.
b. A bath.
c. I groom my dog at home.
11) When you visit a pet shop, you return after:
a. Spending a fortune on toys, id tags, bed, collars, etc. – it’s a great way to say “I love you”.
b. Buy a toy or two for your beloved dog.
c. Purchasing what you went there for.
12) When you discuss your dog with your friends or with anyone, you insist they refer to your dog as:
a. My son. He is not a dog, but my child – and I am his mommy/daddy!
b. Floosie – her pet name.
c. A dog.
If you scored mostly ‘A’s
You are in serious competition with Paris Hilton. You are guilty of over-spoiling your dog to an extent that could be unhealthy for both of you. Money can’t buy love or a dog’s respect. Do keep in mind that like a spoiled child, the over-indulged dog is not happier. It is also possible that your dog is spoilt to the point where it may be a problem to live with him. In many cases, a dominant dog is one that has been spoiled rotten and resents being told what to do, just like a teen who talks back to his mother. Even if the problem isn’t extreme, it’s important to correct these behaviors before they escalate. For his safety and your own, every pet must consistently obey basic commands, especially “come” and “stay.” If your dog exhibits intolerance to the point where it resorts to aggression for getting its own way, you need professional help. Don’t balk at the advice- it isn’t unkind to set rules and expectations. Your pet will be happier and more secure once he knows his place (even if it is on his designer pet bed).
If you scored mostly ‘B’s
There’s a fundamental difference between pampering a dog and spoiling him. As long as your pet knows his place and obeys your commands, you can pamper him to your heart’s content. If you are having problems, they will mostly centre around your dog being disobedient or throwing a tantrum – nothing that cannot be put right with a bit of training and discipline.
If you scored mostly ‘C’s
Congratulations! You seem to be a very sensible dog owner (unless you chose C for questions 2 and 4 – in which case, shame on you!). You know your dog is just as happy leading a simple life, without all the frills and the fuss. He is grateful to you for respecting him as a dog and not treating him as a furry human baby.