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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This is a rant two years in the making and it's getting to the point where I'd like to scream at all parties involved.

My husband and I live with his parents so that I could finally go to school without also having to have a full time job (I should point out that this was their idea and we were very reluctant to take them up on it). We keep to ourselves, clean up our areas and shared areas regularly and typically don't touch anything that's not ours (we've had plenty of roommates in the past). All of the above remains fairly harmonious except for one thing...our dogs. When we moved in, we set ground rules for the dogs, mostly regarding behavior and eating habits. The behavior was the first to go down the toilet. We didn't allow them onto furniture and it could have easily stayed that way except that we were the only ones enforcing the rule which meant that while we were gone during the day my father in law (who is at home all day) just let them do whatever the heck they want. My mother in law hated them being on her leather couches but still wouldn't enforce the rule so now the dogs have taken over the loveseat. Whatever, they didn't enforce the rules so they can't really complain.

This problem is minuscule compared to the food problem though. Our pit bull has allergy problems that we have literally spent thousands on trying to control. It's not entirely food related, but a good diet does help. We feed our dogs twice a day because I've had dogs as a kid that had constant access to food and it always ended badly for the dogs. The first problem was when my father in law started wanting to feed the dogs. He kept ranting about how they're starving (they're definitely not) and started putting more and more food into their bowls until it got to the point that we were going through a $100 50 pound bag of food in two weeks. We finally caught him doing this and we now spend hours each month putting portions into ziplock bags so that we can at least control their meal size. So now, we catch him putting anything and everything into their bowls because "eating should be a treat." -_- I'm talking bacon grease, fat scraps, cheese, and the most horrible cheap wet food he could buy (which he took the label off of to try to hide). Our dogs have each gained 10-15 pounds since moving in and the vet asks us every time how we're feeding them which is extremely embarrassing (not to mention the fact that my pit bull's hair is all falling out). He now says that the pit bull won't eat his kibble (he eats it perfectly fine when they're gone and we feed them), so he makes up for it with whatever he can find, scraps, whatever he's eating, etc. which only reinforces the bad behavior even more. My dogs are going to an early grave because one person lacks the decency to respect our rules about feeding. Luckily there's an end in sight, but it pisses my husband off to no end and in turn stresses me out even more. I'm deeply thankful for having a free roof over my head, but I follow the rules and I'm respectful so I just don't get why he feels entitled to just completely ignore our one simple request.
 

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No offer of help or advice but I feel your pain. My old roommate hated my dog and would leave the door open for him to get out on purpose. I live on a VERY busy street and am lucky he knows better than to try and cross it. He once marked her boyfriend's tools while he was out working on his car and she let him lock him in the kennel and pee on him. She also continually bought dark chocolate for the express purpose of feeding it to him. I was livid and she was out the door.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I remember reading your story about that. I would have put a boot up her *** on the way out. We've been fortunate to have roommates that either have dogs of their own or love them. Even our previous roommate who had a 2 year old daughter would just put her daughter out back with our pitty and let them play while she watched from the window lol. He's such a sweet dog, she probably could have pulled his ear off and he'd still just be standing there wagging his goofy tail.
It's really difficult because I don't feel like I have the right to get angry and confront him about it. Not only is it a slap in the face to us, but it's seriously unfair to my dogs too.
 

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Would it do any good to bring your father-in-law to a vet appointment with you and have the vet explain the consequences of what he's doing? Sometimes our family just needs to hear it from a stranger to believe it. I am a little worried he's going to give your dog pancreatitis with the bacon drippings and all the other fatty treats. Scary!
 

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You really should be able to say somthing. Or your husband should as sometimes its easier for parents to talk to their kids. When I noticed my dog having accidents every morning I bought her grain and dairy free food to test and it stopped. Then my mom would give her some bread or some cheese because she was giving it to the other dogs and Roxie wanted a treat to. And I'd be up at 2 am if I was lucky, or I'd be scrubbing up her mess the next morning. Thankfully my mom got the hint eventually, but it was infuriating. My other animals have spesific diets, not as intricate as some but still more then "most" people and I get so mad at people who try to "correct" my careful diets or try to mess them up. If they are your animals though you have the right to dictate how they are cared for. My dog and my cats are allowed on any furniture, beds couches you name it, I even reverse trained my dog to get on the couch, and if someone tried to punish them for that I would be upset. Xp what I mean is I understand you had yours trained a certain way with furniture and them undoing that without permission isn't ok either. Sorry if I've rambled, past my bedtime, but a family meeting might be a good thing for you guys, with your vet if you can bring them along on a visit as well.
 

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I agree with having the vet talk to the FIL. Sometimes people like that just need to hear it from an outside source. I work at a pet store and deal with people trying to fix food allergies a lot and it is not fair to the dog to finally have something work and then ruin it with "fun" treats. If he wants to give them a treat, it should be something you agree on. Is there anyway you could say "hey, I know you want to give the dogs a treat, how about this instead"?
 

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I think you received some great ideas already. I also highly suggest that you take the father in law to a vet and discuss the diet of the overweight animals. Also make sure the vet tells him the implications of a diet so high in fat, sodium and other junk. It might actually make him reconsider. I know plenty of people who outright ignore my advice until they find out for themselves or from a more 'credible' source. This sort of thing makes me furious because it may take years to undo all your hard work with the animals. Unfortunately the only sure way to relieve this tension with the animals is to move out - especially if he keeps overfeeding your pets with junk while you are away. I would say that if he listens to your vets advice, you could then start giving half as much kibble as you do to your dogs as meals and then give the other half to your FIL to distribute as 'treats' throughout the day. This way he still feels he is still contributing but it does not result in dangerous overfeeding. You can also try to teach him clicker training basics and have him use his 'kibble allowance' as rewards for training progress. Good luck, it sounds like a total nightmare.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
He's been to the vet, he's paid for the vet, we've given him alternative treats...it goes well for about 2 weeks and then it's back to the same crap. My husband can't stand talking to him about it because he just flat out lies or acts like we haven't told him a million times. He eats extremely unhealthy and is constantly eating and he's forcing his bad habits on our dogs. Fortunately my heeler mix is fairly hardy, but the pit bull is the exact opposite. He gets fed all this crap and then FIL whines about him being itchy and his fur falling out...like, I can only say the same thing so many times before I explode.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you all for your concern and suggestions. Unfortunately it's just something I'm going to have to grin and bear for another couple of months. At least there is an end in sight; this is what I have to remind myself every time I'm on the edge of flying into a rage.
 

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I feel your pain. I have a toy yorkie at home who gets treated more like a human than a dog should. She had her food sitting out all day (which is a special food for her urinary problems), she gets fed scraps from the table, and she can misbehave whenever she likes and not be punished for it. My parent's excuse is that she's so small, a little bit wouldn't hurt, she can't harm anyone, and this list pretty much goes on.

Since my boyfriend and I plan on owning a dog later on in the future I thought I might start out training my own dog's behavior. I've come quite a way, but not as far as I wish I could have gone. She does know what she's doing wrong when she's doing it wrong and I have found ways to make her behave. My only issue is that I'm not home all of the time so it's up to my parents to keep up with her behavior.

My end result goal is having a dog who will listen, stop begging and biting other people's feet under the table, and stop peeing in the house whenever she doesn't get what she wants.
 
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