Pet-owners vs breeder-owners
differences is more about country vs city, and
has not so much to do with the status of the owner)
of us have to be novices sometime. Of course there are novices
who don't know enough to really see the small signs that might
be there to tell that the dog is sick. But on the other hand,
most pets are living closer to their owners than kennel dogs.
With no kennel facilities, the dogs is around the owner all the
time. We sleep with them, eat with them, watch TV with them,
and since we only have one or two dogs, we take them with us
when we go visiting. Maybe we actually have a better chance to
spot if something is wrong.
Maybe the pet-owner is more prone to take the dog to the vet
all the time, even for small things, because we can afford it
since we don't have to feed 15 dogs. And also because we don't
have the vast experience of the breeder who knows when really
to take the dog to the vet or not. Does this mean our dogs get
too many antibiotics, destroying our dogs immune systems?
If you are having a kennel and a lot of dogs, you don't live
in the city or in a suburb, you live out in the country somewhere.
Your dogs are not meeting so many other dogs, except at dogshows
or maybe obedience training. Your dogs are not exposed to so
many kinds of viruses and bacteria as the pet-owners dog who
live in the city. The dog who lives in an apartment has to go
out several times a day, and living in the city or a suburb means
meeting other dogs every day.
It is also quite possible that the owners themselves in the cities,
are much more exposed to viruses and bacteria among the crowds,
at work, in the shopping malls, on the commuting train... We
do pass these things between us, man and dog. If you live out
in the country outside a smaller city, you are not exposed the
A kennel dog who lives in a kennel house and is outside most
of the day, will not suffer much even if the owner is a smoker.
I am smoking. All my dogs have been passive smokers since they
share my apartment with me. And God only knows what that does
to their abilities to withstand infections in the tonsills for
It would be most interesting to know how many Sudden Deaths have
shared their lives with smokers.
Here you will find the biggest difference. To live in an apartment
or a small house with such a tiny garden it is not enough to
exercise on, means walking. If you have a single dog, or even
if you have two, it is hard, if not impossible to give them the
same amount of exercise as a kennel dog.
A kennel dog has play mates, plenty of space to run in and probably
the opportunity to do that all day long. You just have to look
at the muscles on a kennel dog and compare it to a dog living
in an apartment, to know this is true. You can walk your dogs
for hours, you bike them, and it is still not the same. The dog
living outdoor is getting a lot more fresh air. And the country
dog is most likely not breathing as polluted air either.
As a pet-owner, especially if you are not at all into dog shows,
you probably give your dog something easy, something you can
buy in a sack. And you are not likely to buy a premium food,
in Sweden one sack of premium food is somewhere around 53 US
dollar at the moment. Very few pet-owners cook their own dog
But of course, there is also the group like me, even if we are
not breeders, we show our dogs and we give them the best food
we can, even if it costs a lot.
afford to keep 10-15 dogs on premium food unless they are sponsored.
They give premium food to their show dogs and lesser quality
to the others. And they cook their own food! Probably they give
both. And where do they get this food? The meat comes from the
butcher and what does a Swedish butcher have if not Swedish meat?
And Swedish meat is free from hormones and antibiotics!
of ready made food, the ones you buy in a sack, are not made
in Sweden. They come from abroad and I am not sure I even want
to know what is really inside. Apart from all the chemicals inside,
what is in the meat? Hormones and antibiotics? When you feed
a couple of dog generations this food, like we have done for
the past decade, will it affect the immune system?