BECOME A RESPONSIBLE HUMAN BEING WITH OUR COMPANION ANIMALS
Adding a pet to the family is a serious long-term commitment. It is a decision that needs input from everyone who would be involved in the care of the animal. Who will play with, feed, and walk your new pet daily? A pet needs attention and love EVERY DAY, not when it suits you.
Too many people see celebrities carrying their Chihuahuas or other small breeds in their purse or bag. These pets are not an accessory. They are a living creature that deserves the dignity and care that we would want for any of our human loved ones. Often the latest blockbuster movie has everyone running out to buy “that breed” but then, in a short period of time, the novelty wears off and our shelters are flooded with Chihuahuas, Yellow Labs, Dalmatians, rabbits, Persian cats, pot-bellied pigs, etc.
There is responsibility in having a pet. The first challenge is: Are you choosing the right breed for your entire family? You need to consider temperament, size, safety, and general compatibility with EVERYONE in the household.
Who will bathe your pet? Who will administer the monthly flea spray? Could someone be allergic to the pet? What is the cost of neutering and spaying? Why is it good to do this?
Think about how much it will cost to feed them.
Where do I buy quality food to feed my pet? Do I know how to read a label on pet food or treats to make sure they are the best for my animal’s health? Do I honestly know what is in my pet’s food? Premium foods lower your vet costs as they have fewer allergies, illnesses, and food.
How much money will proper veterinary care cost me annually? NOTE: Consider the age and any known health conditions at the time you took over the care of your new pet. Senior pets are often great to have, consider their emotions and how long this pet will be in your life. Do they have any physical conditions that will cost me more at the vet? Older animals don’t seem to be so easily adopted… please consider that. They are already soft and can be less effort to train. Who would take care of the animal during my trips and vacations? You cannot leave most animals alone without at least partial daily human supervision.
Where to get your pet:
Instead of buying a puppy or kitten as a gift, consider researching and possibly waiting to adopt a pet from a local shelter or breed-specific rescue group. You can give a loved one a “gift certificate” from a local shelter or a stuffed animal that represents a shelter pet. Too often, shelters bear the brunt of too many decisions that are made unconsciously, resulting in the “return” of rejected animals. They are not disposable items!
Just say no!” to buy at pet stores:
Many pet stores buy their animals from “puppy mills” – mass breeding operations so hell-bent on profit that they often ignore the physical, social and emotional well-being of the animals in their facilities. Animals raised in puppy mills can suffer from neglect, such as serious physical and emotional ailments, and some can even die.
NOTE: Puppy Mills – The only way to get these facilities out of business is to hit them where it hurts: in the wallet. Don’t buy an animal from a pet store.
SHELTERS ARE THE WAY TO GO:
So instead of supporting puppy mills or paying a breeder to produce a live creature that is born ‘just for you!’…Go to your local animal shelter and breed-specific rescue group , which are wonderful places to find a new fart. Dogs and cats in shelters across the country may be purebreds, and there are currently millions of healthy mixed-breed animals waiting for a good home. Most of these shelter animals have already been spayed or neutered, and have received all of their vaccinations and up-to-date veterinary checkups.
There is no need to be impulsive or uninformed. This is a life; a living being that you face and want to be the best you can be for your animal companion. Ask yourself: AM I BEING A RESPONSIBLE PET PARENT?
Often, when the owner decides that the pet isn’t as cute anymore, or too much work, or they just weren’t ready for the responsibility, it’s often the local shelter that takes these animals in. We must remember that pets cannot simply be returned or thrown away like a broken toy.
Because many shelters are already full, unless other animals are adopted to make room for new ones, euthanasia is a possible end to an already sad story. It’s heartbreaking and unnecessary that all of us humans took responsibility in the first place.
Please think it over. Too many wonderful creatures are returned to shelters as people simply don’t realize the responsibility of being a good pet owner and making a lifetime commitment. It will cost you money and time.
There will be bumps in the road like any relationship. Would you be willing to clean up his vomit? Clean your kitty litter every day? Clean the bird cage? Giving a reptile the right size environment? Is your child kind to small creatures? Do you have the patience to teach them how to be kind and take proper care of your new pet?
You must be diligent in teaching your toddler the proper handling of his new animal companion.
A personal queue:
I once rescued a 5+ year old Pomeranian. She had been raised for 5 years of her life and after that she was “kicked out”. That’s when I found her at a breed specific rescue center. Somehow these sweet pets know they are being rescued; she was one of the most appreciative animals I have ever had. Well educated but a bit nervous at first. She was kept in a confined area when she was “breeding” and it took her a while to get used to her new home where with me she was free to move physically and explore more, and her constant love and attention was new to her. . It took almost a year for her to come to terms with the situation and “relax” in her new home.
Give them time… they’ll figure it out. Rescues are wonderful companions!
All this in exchange for one of the best relationships you will have in your life. You will be rewarded with unconditional love like you have never known.
Be a responsible pet owner, your heart will be full and you and your pet will be eternally grateful!