Having a pet is a great feeling. For those who live alone, it is someone to come home to. For families, it is an additional member of the family and can encourage children to express love and learn responsibilities, whilst for some it may just be a fad. However, having a pet is taking on great responsibility. It involves caring, feeding and loving a living creature. One should never adopt a pet unless ready for the responsibility and commitment that comes with it. Consider these factors before going down the road of a “pet-owner”:
· Stay away from impulse shopping
From the glass window of a pet store, those beautiful yet sad eyes may plead for your love and affection, and you run in and buy that animal. Don’t let impulse draw you into something that you are not ready for. As cute as they may seem, pets are not all “sugar and spice” once they get home. For instance, a newcomer doggie in the family will need to be “potty” trained, taught how to obey rules and not to destroy your home as wells furnishing. But this takes time and in the process, be prepared to lose some of your most prized possessions to its curious paws and gnawing teeth. An untrained pet may leave its droppings or other excrement around the house for you to pick up. Ask yourself, are you ready to tough it out until your pet is house-trained?
· Shop around
Take time to learn about the various kinds of pets that are available, their maintenance routines and their characteristics. Read about the pet that you have decided on and learn how to care for it, love it and maintain it. Different species have different attributes that might or might not suit your family’s needs.
· Pay a visit to the animal shelters
Before you run out and pay a hefty sum of money for a pet, visit the local animal shelters. You might just get what you want at these centres without paying anything. Many of these animals at the shelter need good homes, give these animals a chance at a loving family. You may find some of them very affectionate and hungry for love, having been abused or abandoned.
· How much space do you have for a pet
Take a look around your home and evaluate how much space you have for a pet. Getting a golden retriever for an apartment, is definitely a no-go. You would not be doing the dog justice as he won’t have space to run around or play. Maybe a smaller dog would be better for an apartment or condominium or any other small pets.
Having a pet is costly, especially with visits to the vet, immunisation, food, vitamins, shampoo and other items your pet might need. Ask yourself whether you are ready to take on this financial commitment.
So before you step into the world of pet ownership, consider these factors so that you, your family and your pet have a great experience getting to know each other.
By Christina Thomas
Photo courtesy by: PetsMore.com
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