10 Selfless Things People Do for Their Pets

close-up of Pug's face
"I think it's time for you to clean my creases again."
close-up of Pug's face
“I think it’s time for you to clean my creases again.”

Sometimes we find ourselves asking “Why do we do the things we do for our pets?” From getting up at the crack of dawn for a potty break, scrubbing soiled carpets, to removing eye boogers, pet parents daily show their love through a variety of ways. However, not all expressions of affection are pleasant. Here are the top 10 vilest tasks that pet owners willingly put up with for the love of their feline and canine pals.

1. Goop control: Most dogs tend to get goopy build up around the moist areas of their bodies, such as the eyes, nose and ears. This requires pet owners to wipe around the dose nose and eyes for drips or “crusty” bits that may have hardened overnight. In some cases, when a pet-parent fails to address to help his animal out, bacteria can begin to fester and create a stink problem. Some pet owners find that when their dogs get an infection (such as a fungal ear infection), that the body part becomes odorous and requires wiping out the putrid goop every day.

2. Drool wiping: Boxes, Newfoundlands, Bulldogs and Mastiffs are some of the breeds most know for drooling (though it is important to notes cats drool too, depending on their emotional or physical state of being). Attending to the drool might involve the constant sopping of the puddles left behind, or even carrying damp tissues around when the pets go out in public. Yet no matter how disgusting or inconvenient the drool-wiping is, pet-parents still manage to stay enamored of their drippy-mouthed munchkins.

3. Cleaning the creases: Small dogs like Pugs, French Bulldogs, English Bulldogs, Mastiffs, and Sharpeis tend to have face creases that easily become filled with moisture, dust and dirt. Regularly wiping antibacterial or refreshing face wipes deep into the crevices to remove the slime and grime stored there, is a necessary aspect of maintenance needed for these pups.

4. Nail clipping: Compared to the other items on this list, something as trivial as nail clipping doesn’t sound that awful… until you think about where those eager little paws have been. Dirty litter boxes, city streets, contaminated puddles, soiled surfaces and park lawns with disintegrating dog poop, are just a few of the places pet claws collect all kinds of bacteria. That’s enough to make a “germ-a-phobe” turn up his nose!

5. Tick removal: The very idea of bugs gives plenty of people the creeps. But having to dig through an animal’s fur to not only find hidden parasites, but then go through the nauseating process of removing ticks imbedded into a cat or dog’s coat, can be very challenging. But when the pet’s well-being is at stake, there are few limits to what a devoted animal-lover will do to help them.

6. Breath control: Rotting food caught between teeth is an unpleasant concept, especially if the dog or cat is partial to things like tuna or salmon, etc. Fighting bad-breathe involves tongue scraping and tooth brushing to help defeat dental decay. When dogs or cats have particularly pungent breath, this usually requires the pet owner to dig deep into the odorous mouths of their ailing animal.

7. Clean up patrol: Dogs and cats can have sensitive stomachs and digestive systems (particularly because they often eat strange things) leaving their masters to clean up whatever mess they leave on the kitchen floor or carpet. Surprise vomit masses, hairballs, or the odd case of indoor elimination or diarrhea is enough to make even the most enthusiastic animal person want to throw the (filthy) towel in. Yet, time and time again, pet-owners slavishly scrub the carpets clean, and sop up the regurgitated remains.

8. Cadaver removal: Whether it’s a bloodied bird corpse, half a mouse tail, or an unrecognizable mass that may once have been alive, cats (and some dogs) are known for bringing their latest kill indoors. Though tidying up this kind of mess might be enough to pitch someone into full blown PTSD, pet-owners just deal with it anyway.

9. Checking waste for worms: Face it, if you care about your dog or cat, you will be very concerned about his internal health. This may entail checking to see that there are no worms in the pet’s feces. Though no one likes digging around that kind of smelly mess, responsible pet-parenthood calls for such investigations on occasion.

10. Poop Wiping: Speaking of fecal matter, this is perhaps the worst and most disgusting requirement of pet maintenance. Certain dog breeds have difficulty eliminating in a tidy way, sometimes leaving traces of feces on their own rear ends. After a long day at work, it is a horrifying concept to not only have to pick up the fresh pile of poop your dog leaves on the sidewalk during your evening walk, but then having to go home and wipe his backside seems almost too much to ask. However, Bulldog owners who want to keep their pup clean enough to snuggle with on the couch, have to make these sacrifices for the sake of hygiene and comfort.

If even reading this is turning your stomach, maybe you should reconsider getting a dog that requires this much upkeep and dedication! Or you could always become a regular at the local groomer’s and pay someone else to keep your cat or dog neat and tidy! (What with sanitary shaves, and anal sac expressions their job is far worse than yours!)


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