What Makes a Shelter Pet?

What Makes a Shelter Pet?

One contributing factor may surprise you.

“Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that theyare gods.”


-Christopher Hitchens


According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter the animal shelters across the U.S. every year. Of those, it’s estimated that 3.2 million are adopted; another 1.5 million are euthanized. We see the commercials on late night TV profiling these animals, which make us sad and possibly even motivates us to donate to the cause.


A majority of these animals are not strays, but rather “re-homed.” Meaning, the animal was owned but given up for adoption due to various circumstances. The ASPCA conducted a National Re-homing Survey and discovered that pet problems are the most common reason that owners give up their dog or cat. In fact, pet problems account for 47% of re-homed dogs and 42% of similar cats.


It’s easy to speculate on the reasons for the high rate of re-homing, including impulsive purchase decisions, relocation, loss of a job, etc. (As a teenager, this author was the beneficiary of a “re-homed” cat when my sister-in-law’s Maine Coon proved incompatible with a newborn baby in a 750 square foot apartment.) Truth be told, even the best intentioned and loving pet owners can experience pet problems that leave them with few alternatives other giving up the pet to a shelter.


In an evaluation of a pet’s behavior, one key factor that often goes overlooked is nutrition. Less expensive foods often have more ingredients like filler grains that cause allergies in cats and dogs alike. Allergies can have a significant effect on a pet’s disposition. But a poor diet can cause issues beyond allergies in our pets that can contribute to poor behavior. PetMD identifies five common illnesses that are directly impacted by nutrition.


  • Obesity, which also contributes to arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer.
  • Pancreatitis, resulting in hunched back, repeated vomiting, and pain in the abdomen.
  • Bladder Stones, which can cause infection, discomfort, pain, and urinary accidents.
  • Hypertension, which can lead to weakness, disorientation, and seizures.
  • Diarreha, a cause of listlessness, depression, abdominal pain, fever, and weakness.



How does that make you feel?


“When you stop to think about how much better you feel as a person when you eat healthy foods. It’s really no different with pets,” says Peter Orlando, Director of Product Development at NaturPak Pet. “Many behavioral conditions our dogs and cats exhibit are driven by underlying health issues, brought on or exacerbated by sub-optimal nutrition. Most owners dealing with problems with their pets would be amazed by the difference a better diet can make.”


NaturPak Pet specializes in the development and manufacture of complete and balanced wet pet food products that help dogs and cats live healthier, happier lives. Using only the freshest, whole food ingredients, NuturPak Pet’s wet foods come packed with probiotics, omega fatty acids, and protein. For more information on the benefits of NaturPak Pet food, contact a representative today.

What Makes a Shelter Pet?

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