This is an exciting time to be a dog lover. In the 1960s, dogs were still considered mostly outdoor animals whose job was to warn of intruders and scare away vermin. Over the years, dogs have slowly worked their ways into the hearts and homes of their owners and are now considered important members of the family.
As important canine citizens, trends in the dog world have started to reflect this modern view. This is good news for both dogs and those who care about them.
Here are a few of the bigger trends we are seeing in the dog world.
In this era where both parents work, and kids go right from school to soccer practice, dogs often find themselves alone all day. Enter doggy daycare, where dogs can play with each other under supervision while the family is out of the house. Doggy daycare includes rest periods in between bouts of play to give dogs a chance to recoup. Dog camps are an extension of the doggy daycare trend, and are designed for dogs who must be separated from their family for days at a time. Dog camps often include fun activities such as swimming and ball chasing.
It used to be that dogs were left alone when the family went off for vacation. A big bowl of water and a large plate of kibble were considered enough to get a dog through a weekend alone. Today, conscientious dog owners make sure their canine companions have daily care in the form of pet sitters, who often stay overnight so dogs won't have to spend the night alone. Pet sitting usually includes daily walks, so dogs don't have to miss their routines when their owners aren't around.
Remember when dogs weren't allowed in restaurants? There was a time when you wouldn't dream of bringing your dog with you when you went out to eat. These days, most restaurants with dining patios allow dogs to eat with their owners outside. Some even offer offer doggy menus, with items such as chicken, sausage, bacon, and steak. The best waiters in dog-friendly restaurants always offer visiting dogs a bowl of water.
Life in the big city can be tough for a dog who wants to run around and play with other pooches. Enter the dog park, a popular gathering place for dogs and their owners. Dog parks feature large fenced-in grassy areas for playing. Some have drinking fountains for dogs, sprinkler areas for romping in the water, and shaded benches for owners. The best dog parks have separate areas for small dogs so they don't have to deal with their larger cousins.
Animal shelters have been euthanizing unwanted dogs for decades, but these days, dog lovers are working hard to save as many lives as they can. Private rescues funded by donations around the country are removing dogs from high-kill shelters and adopting them out to loving homes. Most of these dogs are of unknown breeding, and used to be called "mutts. Today, these rescued pooches are lovingly considered All-American Dogs.