The last time I was back at home visiting family was a few years ago. I expected that everything was going to be more expensive there because I'm not from another planet, I am aware that things in Europe cost a great deal more than they do here in South East Asia. Therefore this was not that much of a surprise to me.
However, when I went into a pet store to get a gift for the dogs that we look after back in Thailand I suddenly realized that the prices for chew toys and plush toys or squeak toys are dramatically more there as well. When you consider that all of these probably come from the same place (China) that all of our toys come from it does seem a bit crazy that the prices would be 2-3 times the amount. I understand Economics well enough to realize that this is because of the area, rent, and staff salaries though.
The stores back in Europe also tend to have a much larger supply in stock than the places here in Thailand but again, this is expected. When I was shopping it was a absolute wonderland of which one of these squeakers am I going to surprise my babies with? Then I started looking at the prices and saw that nearly everything was around 10 to 20 dollars and this is easily much more expensive than it is back in Thailand. I ended up not getting anything but did come up with an idea for all of the pet owners out there.
I know that when I visit my friends that have dogs back in the West, the dogs are usually very very spoiled and this is a very good thing. However, does your baby really need to have 20 toys when there is a really good chance that she / he wouldn't care if they only had 5?
The reason that I say this is that this $10 to $20 per toy, if you were to just skip one of them, could actually be used to help another dog not just to chase it to the other side of the room a few times but rather, you could help this dog to survive. Most people who are pet lovers would probably love this other animal as much as your own if they had the chance.
For our organization alone, $15 is the difference between us being able to get anti-parasite medication to the thousands of dogs that live with the constant threat of infestation and disease. Mange, worms, ticks, and other parasites contribute to the very slow and painful death of many street dogs here in Thailand and all around the world and it is completely preventable.
It starts with a bit of missing hair, then progresses to all hair that can be reached by paws missing, it then leads to open wounds, which leads to additional parasites, this leads to infections that lead to more parasites that slowly eat the dog alive.
The price of one dog squeak toy could prevent this from happening and even help those that are already infested / infected to recover which we have seen with our own eyes hundreds of times.
It can also purchase a 20KG bag of dry food for our temple feeding programs that we have now extended to 3 temples in the Krabi area.
The monks who are at these temples do their best to look after the dogs there as it is tradition in Thailand to drop off unwanted pets at temples in exchange for providing the temples with donations and money. Of course as you can probably guess a lot of the people don't actually follow through with the donations part.
Especially during Covid times, these temples have been struggling to provide enough food for the hungry furbabies that they have there and they are extremely gracious when we turn up with bags of food to help them out.
The price of one chew toy that your cherished pet probably wont even remember they have will is also (and this might surprise you) enough money to sterilize one dog or cat. Of course this is because of the generous donation of services by the Bangkok Krabi Animal Hospital who does the work for free and provides us all medications at cost but isn't it amazing that for the cost of one toy you can prevent the suffering of dozens of future animals?
Of course we appreciate every donation that we get but I would rather you donate your time or money to an organization that is near you or towards whatever organization suits you than to send it to us. This is especially true of donating your time. I promise that once you see these animals and interact with them, it wont even seem like work.
This isn't a plea for help for us, but rather just a presentation of how far your "dog toy money" could go towards vastly improving the lives of those animals less fortunate. The next time you are thinking of getting another toy for your dog or cat, just try to remember that this money could be much better used to prevent the suffering and death of a similar animal at most places in the world.
If you would like to see how you can help out or simply spread the word, please visit our website at