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SergeantQueen's avatar

Why do people treat dogs differently than humans?

Asked by SergeantQueen (4370points) May 13th, 2017

Obvious/sarcastic answer: Because dogs aren’t humans.
I’m not saying that we need to buy things for dogs that we would buy for kids, or spend as much time with dogs as we would other humans- I’m referring to respect and love here.

I just saw a video that talked about a nice lady who would take dogs in who aren’t loved anymore. These dogs are old and sick and/or possibly about to die. If a person’s mom was old and sick, they wouldn’t stop loving her. If someone’s mom was about to die, they’d probably want to spend the last few days with them, not give them away to someone else to spend the last days with them.

People do things to dogs that they wouldn’t do to humans. People would adopt a dog, then, for no reason at all, decide they don’t want it and give it back. You can’t adopt a human child and decide you don’t want it and give it back. So, why do it to a dog? This isn’t including people who adopt a dog, and then can no longer afford it or aren’t taking care of the dog.

Why do people treat dogs with less respect than they’d treat another person?

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23 Answers

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

When my grandma got Alzheimers she got shipped to a nursing home. All she wanted was to go home. The home wasn’t much more than a kennel for sick dogs. she died alone an in pain from a stomach ulser.

josie's avatar

I’ll go with your own response
Because they are not human
Certainly animals deserve more empathy and respect than pebbles
And that principle gains moral strength as you travel up the evolutionary path into vertebrates and mammals
But only humans totally understand mortality
And that is the difference

Coloma's avatar

Well, first of all “some” people mistreat dogs and other animals but not all, obviously.
Secondly, while all animals deserve good care sometimes some people adopt them on a whim or have little or no experience with what it takes to have, care for or train a dog and they end up overwhelmed of with an animal with behavioral problems beyond their scope or desire to deal with. Some people are just irresponsible and immature and would also dump their kids, mates and anything thing that became too much trouble for them. Dogs are not humans and while this does not mean they shouldn’t be treated with love, respect and given good care but..having to find a new home for a dog cannot really be compared to returning an adopted child though that can and does and has happened for the same reasons.

The child having issues beyond what the new family was capable of coping with. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having to re-home an animal and as long as it is done responsibly the reasons why are not really anyones business.
I had to give up a psycho cat I tried to adopt some years back. The cat went to my daughter but after several months and spending lots of time and money to try and integrate it and it continuing to beat the shit out of my docile existing cat, well…bye bye kitty.

The cat needed to be an only cat and I found her a home where that could happen.
I did not want to spend hours a day managing 2 cats that didn’t get along, keeping them separate at all times, the whole scene, too much work and trouble. Nothing wrong with not wanting that. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out and that doesn’t make someone a bad person for not wanting to cope with major animal issues.

Dutchess_III's avatar

People who cruelly mistreat animals often cruelly mistreat people too.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

As you said, the main reason is they aren’t humans. However, the example you used about old dogs can just as easily be applied to older people. How often do we hear about old people who have been found dead and alone? They might have family who has moved away and don’t stay in touch. Or of people who put their aged relatives in homes and rarely visit.

And given how badly some people treat their children, sometimes I wish they could give them back. There was a little kid here whose parents had died and his aunt was his guardian. He died and his body was covered in bruises. All I could think was if she didn’t feel able to look after him, why couldn’t she just hand him to the authorities and admit that? So some people treat people and/or animals badly.

I see my animals as part of my family. I could never abandon my dogs or my cat, but to some people, their animals (or their children) are property to be thrown away once they’re no longer wanted. It’s very sad.

JLeslie's avatar

I know people who ask why do people treat dogs like humans.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

The real answer is people like dogs for selfish reasons. There are also enough people that treat other people like dogs or even worse than dogs.

Thevoice's avatar

You answered your own question.
Dogs are not humans. A dog is not your mother, father, child, or anything else. It’s a dog.
People treat different living beings in different ways.

Zaku's avatar

Well, it seems to me that many people treat animals and people as poorly as they can get away with without suffering consequences from their family, society, law, and/or their own conscience. The “animals are less than humans” arguments are used as justification and rationalization for poor treatment with reduced consequences. But people have also treated humans particularly badly, particularly second-class citizens and other dehumanized parties. This includes slaves, prisoners, criminals, lepers, other races, religions and nationalities, LGTQ people, the elderly, the obese, the indigent, the poor, etc.

For example, you wrote, “If a person’s mom was old and sick, they wouldn’t stop loving her. If someone’s mom was about to die, they’d probably want to spend the last few days with them, not give them away to someone else to spend the last days with them.” yet many people do have a hard time being with their elderly relatives and often consign them to the care of others, many of which places are pretty terrible.

Coloma's avatar

….and some of us go above and beyond for our animals. I bought my cats a sardine treat for dinner last night and our horses here get 3 meals a day, not the standard two, chock full of delicious grains, supplements and special needs for the senior horses. Our hens have a huge coop and heat lamps during the cold weather and range over 7 acres every day. The happiest hens on earth.

My old goose who turns 19 this July shares a custom goose barn with his companions, they have a huge pond built in their large enclosure and are out grazing for several hours a day as well. We planted scads of red clover just for them and my neighbors just spent 8k on a double hip replacement for their Husky. I also just scooped up a rattlesnake about a week ago and instead of killing it as it was just out basking across the road and posing no threat to any of us or the animals on this property, I “relocated” it back into the big field it slithered out from to enjoy another fat gopher or ground squirrel dinner.

My neighbor was appalled and upset when I told her that as long as it was posing no immediate threat it was a beneficial animal and did not deserve to be killed simply because of it’s species. She was of the mindset it should be exterminated on the spot just because she saw it. Pffft!

flutherother's avatar

I think as @JLeslie says the real question is why we treat dogs, who aren’t human, as if they were.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I love my dogs. Rick and and I call each other Mom and Dad when we’re talking about our dogs. But they’re not really the same as having children. For one thing I couldn’t throw my kids out in the yard with some food and water and leave for a couple of days!

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I have to say, I wouldn’t leave my dog(s) alone overnight. We’re going to a wedding at the weekend, my dog is going in a kennel.

lugerruger's avatar

I love my dogs so much and I would never do what some people do to their dogs, but I guess some people think that dogs and other pets are kind of just a source of happiness and like an object that doesn’t really matter.

snowberry's avatar

Because dogs are not humans. Seriously.

I adore my dog. She’s the smartest, sweetest, most lovable creature, but she’s a dog. Yes I have a relationship with her but it will never be anywhere close to the kind of relationship I can have with another human being.

And there are lots of people who throw away children. For them a child is no more valuable than a stray dog. I have a son-in-law like that. There are lots of ways to throw away children. They mistreat them until they run away. They get them hooked on drugs. In many parts of the world and even here in the US they are sold. I could go on and on. You know what I mean.

canidmajor's avatar

Wouldn’t your question be better worded along the lines of “Why do some people seem to have little to no moral conscience?” What you describe applies to behaviors humans display towards other humans as well.

@Dutchess_III: do you really throw your dogs ”...out in the yard with some food and water and leave for a couple of days.”? Yikes.

chyna's avatar

Seriously @Dutchess_III, you throw your dogs out in the yard and leave for a few days?
That is NOT love.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I was exaggerating guys. f it’s just one overnight we leave the doors open and have my son check on them. Anything more we board them.
Still not something I’d do with my kid.

Coloma's avatar

Oh geez…really? Leaving your dog for a day or two, out in the yard, with an open door and someone checking on them, their food & water ,does not make someone a bad dog owner. Pffft1

chyna's avatar

@Coloma She didn’t say that at first. She said she threw them out in the yard with food for a couple days. Geez.

Coloma's avatar

@chyna…I understand, true, but now she has clarified.
Still. if it is good weather, the dogs have plenty of food and plenty of water, it is not a bad thing to leave them for a day or two. Not a week or two, obviously.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I’m glad Dutchess clarified what she meant. However, I still wouldn’t leave my dogs on their own for a day or two. They could get sick, be bitten by a snake, eat all the food and be starving for two days, and they’re pack animals. Unless they’ve grown up being abandoned in the yard, they’re going to be confused and scared about where everyone went. My dogs would not know what the heck had happened to them if we did that. I wouldn’t be surprised if they tried to escape the yard and then they’re at risk of being injured on the road.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yeah, they do freak out when we get back, no matter how long we’ve been gone! It is sad to me too that I can’t explain it to them. We take them with us anywhere we can, but sometimes it’s just not possible.
We have a really large, well fenced yard.

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