This phrase is used to complain about the way things are going, especially if something went wrong and took a turn for the worse, as then it would lose all the goodness that it once had. The origin of this expression is believed to come from ancient China where dogs were not permitted within the walls of cities. Consequently, stray dogs roamed the areas outside the city walls and lived off the rubbish thrown out of the city, which was food that wasn’t considered fit for humans and the dogs had to fight for these leftovers and scraps. Criminals and social outcast were often expelled from cities and were sent to live among the rubbish and the dogs. Not all that long ago horse meat was canned and sold as dog food by many different companies.
If a meal tastes bad, it can be said that it has gone to the dogs. If the service or product in a business has declined or deteriorated in quality, then you would say that this place has gone to the dogs. Gamblers that lose money at the dog track will say that their money went to the dogs. Some simular expressions are ‘gone to ruin’, ‘going to pot’, ‘going to hell in a hand basket’, ‘gone down the toilet’, ‘flushed down the crapper’ and possibly even ‘plunged down the rabbit hole’. It seems kind of strange that I wrote a post about ‘Gone To The Dogs’ without mentioning Trump.
Written for Linda G. Hill Life in progress One-Liner Wednesday – August 29 prompt settings.