Pets are a popular companion and they’re hard to say no to especially when they’re small and cute, but saying yes to a pet means saying yes forever. Unfortunately, because people make wrong decisions many pets suffer from inadequate care and neglect. Pet ownership is a serious commitment that should never be entered into on a whim. Before choosing to own a pet, please make sure that you do your homework and understand the responsibility.
Can You Afford a Pet?
Food is only one small part of the financial responsibility of having a pet. If you adopt a puppy or kitten, they will need to be spayed/neutered, and immunized to protect them from diseases. You should also put some money towards a pet fund in case of unexpected emergencies. This will become important especially as your pet gets older. One way to negate the cost of these bills is to get pet insurance but even that is an extra cost so set money aside each month exclusively for your pet.
Are you Capable of Meeting a Pet’s Needs?
Adopting a pet is similar to taking care of a child. You are taking in a living, breathing animal that will depend upon you for every single thing. One major difference between a baby and a pet is that a child usually becomes self-sufficient in adulthood, whereas a pet requires you to take care of it forever. You shouldn’t take this responsibility lightly.
If your children are begging you to get a dog or a cat, consider whether your family is ready to accept the responsibilities this brings. If not, perhaps you could ease them into pet ownership with a fish or a hamster. These pets still require care and feeding, but the responsibilities are less involved and you can think of them as training for more responsibility. If your children do well, perhaps you can consider a larger animal. Before you decide on a pet, do your research to find out if the pet you’re thinking about adopting is right for your family, lifestyle, and schedule.
Do You Have Time to Spend with your Pet?
Before adopting any potential pet, you need to understand what it takes to keep the animal safe, healthy and happy. You need to know what its habits, tendencies and social behaviours are, and whether or not they will mesh with your everyday life. If you’re ready to adopt a dog, you need to research the different breeds to make sure you select one that’s a good fit for your family and your lifestyle.
Animals need interaction, companionship and love every bit as much, if not more, than food and water. These are the things that feed its soul, and although they may not be as obvious as a lack of food, going without these emotional needs does a pet just as much harm.
Responsible pet ownership means never adopting an animal during times of major stress or life changes. It also means that when these things invariably occur, we need to find ways to help our pets have stability. Depending on the circumstances, that might mean enlisting the aid of family or friends, dog walkers, pet sitters or a doggie daycare facility.
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