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Why People Hate Dogs… And What We Should Do About It

Why People Hate Dogs… And What We Should Do About It

January brings a time of introspection for a lot of us, and this year I found myself turning down a path of trying to better understand people who are totally different than me.

I found a subreddit called PetFree, an online community for people who do not have pets and don’t want them. Some of them downright HATE cats and dogs.

It’s fair for people to not like dogs. It’s fine by me if they even have hate or disdain for dogs, pet parents, as long as they don’t bring harm to anyone. As difficult as it is to understand, this was an important mini-journey for me, and I want to share with you why this even matters.

Why Some People Don’t Want A Dog

If you’re like me, you can’t imagine waking up without a dog. What’s it like to not have a sleepy Chihuahua stretch, sigh, and burrow into your chest again, hoping for five more minutes? Or a marvelous mutt bouncing around, excited to greet you and go outside for her first poop of the day, each morning as gleeful as a kid going to Disneyland?

Sometimes, mornings mean getting up earlier than I’d like because the dogs need food and to go outside. Sometimes that means even if I’m not feeling well, I have to get up and care for them.

Pets bring us so much joy, but they’re so much responsibility, too.

We commit to care for them every day. We make sacrifices. We spend money on them that we could otherwise spend on ourselves.

Even though, when I’m picking up poop, vacuuming up hair, or dealing with barking and jumping and whining, the thought doesn’t enter my mind, “I don’t want to do this.”

It’s automatic, I just do those things. I don’t think about life free of it. Even the grossest, most annoying, most time consuming and expensive responsibilities leave me with a warm feeling, because anything I can do for my dogs is highly fulfilling and meaningful. I’m lucky to spend thousands in vet bills. I’m fortunate to get to pick up poop everyday because it means my loved ones are healthy and fed and comfortable. We are so, so lucky.

If doing all of those things doesn’t make someone feel that way, they shouldn’t do it. They often have other commitments in their life, like family or children or a parent that needs care, and that’s usually the case with those who post in /r/Petfree.

And… taking care of yourself is just as important and can be just as fulfilling as caring for others. I also realize how hard it can be for many to simply shower, brush their teeth, or get dressed everyday. Mental health issues can make those tasks not only absolutely unfulfilling, but impossible.

Taking care of my dogs makes it easier for me to care for myself. I know that’s not the same for everyone.

Why Some People Hate Dogs

Sometimes, pet parents get carried away with the moralization and personification of their dogs. And I think that can be why it can be difficult for others to understand us at times.

My dogs bark at strangers. They take a very long time to warm up to my friends, and they don’t trust easily.

Some people say that dogs are a good judge of character, and that if a dog barks at you, you must be a bad person. And it’s not the truth. Dogs bark at people that look different, smell different, or even at a person they normally love who happens to be wearing a hat.

And for someone who doesn’t like dogs, but is constantly told that dogs are a beacon of character and morality – getting barked at by a dog must feel pretty awful.

Worse, many people in Petfree have been bitten or attacked by animals. Some have scars, a few have been disabled or disfigured, and many have trauma – and we can’t pretend that dogs always have a reason, or that it’s always someone’s fault. They’re animals, and their survival instincts can take over.

I’ve been bitten by my childhood dog to the point of having permanent scars. I’ve been growled at by Matilda when she didn’t want me to touch her treat. And my dogs have attacked one another.

To that point, humans hurt humans all the time, especially those we love.

We can internalize it, or we can accept that people and animals do hurt one another, not always with good reason, and that violence and love are both very real and very, very hard to understand.

What Dog-Free People Have Completely Wrong

There’s one thing that I’ve seen pet-free people say that’s simply untrue.

Some say that cats and dogs do not love us back, at all, and that they only act cute and cuddly because they’ve evolved to be as means for survival.

We know that dogs and cats and other animals experience a rush of serotonin and dopamine when they’re with the ones they love. Just like us.

Humans, too, benefit when we’re kind to each other and seek companionship. The first sign of civilization is said to be a healed femur – something that’s only possible when a human has loved ones to care for them while they heal from an otherwise fatal injury.

Yes, dogs are bred for maximum cuteness and sweet temperaments and companionship – but love is real, and that’s a fact.

Why We Need To Listen To Dog “Haters”

I don’t implore anyone to go into the subreddit or otherwise seek out or participate in communities of people who do not like dogs. There’s no reason for it. Those are safe spaces for those people, and even when they say things that I can’t justify or understand, they’re free to do it.

What’s most important is not taking our dogs for granted. They’re wonderful, and they enrich our lives in countless ways. But they aren’t morally superior to humans, and they’re hard to take care of.

My dogs are my spiritual caretakers, but also my dependents, my friends, my companions, my equals, and my babies, all at once.

And that would mean nothing if I saw them as universally loved, perfect, flawless, needless beings.

Sometimes dogs bite. Sometimes they eat their own babies. And sometimes, they love unconditionally. To me, they’re the full package, and I love them completely.

Lindsay Pevny
Lindsay Pevny lives to help pet parents make the very best choices for their pets by providing actionable, science-based training and care tips and insightful pet product reviews.

She also uses her pet copywriting business to make sure the best pet products and services get found online through catchy copy and fun, informative blog posts. She also provides product description writing services for ecommerce companies.

As a dog mom to Matilda and Cow, she spends most of her days taking long walks and practicing new tricks, and most nights trying to make the best of a very modest portion of her bed.

You'll also find her baking bread and making homemade pizza, laughing, painting and shopping.

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Monday 14th of August 2023

That’s exactly the face of an idiot like yours writing this bs. Get something meaningful to do ! It’s even painful reading those literary excrements….

Abida mumtaz hussain

Monday 7th of August 2023

Strange article for sure. You talk about your dog like it’s a child.???? At the end of the day it’s only an animal. It don’t need much attention and money spent on it

Please don’t compare your dog to a child.

Keep you dog on leash and don’t let it go near kids

Kids are important


Sunday 6th of August 2023

My pet hate (pardon the pun) is people who put their dogs outside and leave them to bark. I am staying in a nice neighbourhood in California and there are 3 (separate) dogs that bark at times, (one worse than the others). It's actually the owners of the dog whom I have never seen that I blame. In this case it's the owners making me dislike dogs. Train your dog not to go off on one, it's not rocket science.


Sunday 30th of July 2023

I hate it when they barks at night, especially at Sunday night,like it's fucking 12:53 am in the morning,I'm trying to sleep peacefully without hearing any annoying noises☠️.


Wednesday 26th of July 2023

Dogs are, plain and simple, disgusting, germ-laden creatures. It doesn't matter how much you clean or sanitize, your home will be awash with filth and bodily fluids. Yes, some of them are cute and nice, but it's not worth the hassle and stress. I detest how hyper and desperate for attention they are, and how they are always gluttonous for food, even stealing it behind your back and out of the hands of your own children. The worst part is, it's not really the dogs' fault. Humans have bred these undesirable traits into them to make them more trainable, resulting in behaviors that have made them a nightmare to live with and even hazardous to the dogs' health. It's actually really sad.

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