Many of us love the company of animals, since their simple and unwavering company and love are a great source of happiness and peace. However, most of us don’t really know how to be a responsible pet owner, which sometimes can produce a lot of frustration and have terrible effects on the lives of both the humans and the animals.
For that reason, today we give you some essential tips that will help you be a better human for your animal companion:
Tip for being a responsible pet owner #5: Don’t act impulsively
Just like having a child should always be a carefully planned event, adopting a pet is a choice which should be taken seriously and only if you’re ready. Don’t let yourself be swept by current fashions: did you know many animal films with certain breeds spurred a wave of animal shopping which ended up in many of them being either returned, abandoned or put down?
As soon as you take an animal home, you must start considering it as part of your family, and just like a child it will require many attentions, it will develop a personality and habits which might not be what you expected, and it will grow and have changes in attitude which can affect you.
If you’re considering adopting a pet for a child, make sure the kid knows the responsibilities it involves: enlist your child as a volunteer at a local shelter, or make them care for a neighbor’s pet for a week. This experience will tell both of you if you’re ready for the commitment of being a responsible owner.
Tip for being a responsible pet owner #4: Make sure you have an optimal situation
Each type of animal has requirements that have to be met so they can live under the best circumstances. Before choosing which animal to bring home, check out the conditions of your living space and make sure it meets the needs of the new member of your family. Otherwise, you can always pick another type of animal companion.
Also, remember that being a responsible pet owner means having a stable economic situation which ensures you can always satisfy your animal’s needs, since it will get sick, need food, toys and many implements that can be quite expensive. If you can’t meet the requirements, then perhaps adopting a pet is not for you.
Tip for being a responsible pet owner #3: Spay or neuter
A very important part of being a responsible pet owner is to make difficult choices about your animal’s health and lifestyle. It’s very important to always spay your neuter the animal you adopt, since this will avoid plenty of problems: it will reduce your pet’s vulnerability to certain diseases including cancer, it will keep them from escaping while looking for mates, it will avoid unwanted pregnancies, and, above all, it will help reduce the problem of overpopulation.
Shelters are temporary living places for thousands of animals, many of which end up being put down due to the lack of enough homes to receive them. Breeders produce even more animals, thus enhancing the crisis, and many irresponsible owners reproduce their pets in order to sell or give away the offspring and keep a few for themselves, risking the lives of the animals in the process. Many of these animals will also be abandoned or put down later on.
Be responsible: spay or neuter, and when your pet becomes older you can adopt another animal to keep you both company.
Tip for being a responsible pet owner #2: Ensure the animal’s safety, happiness and health
As we’ve mentioned before, a crucial part of being a responsible pet owner stems from meeting your animal’s needs. You can love them profoundly, but if they’re sick or living under terrible conditions, then you’ll be dealing with a very unhappy pet. It’s very important to take your animal to regular visits to the veterinarian, stay up-to-date with all their vaccines, ensure they get plenty of exercise, ensure they can socialize with other animals and persons healthily, and to always have a contingency plan in case there’s an emergency.
A basic tip you should always remember is to never let your pet out of your house without identification and a leash. Even if you’ve trained it not to cross the street, you must always keep in mind animals are instinctual beings, and if something catches their attention they could run away and get hit by a car or get lost.
Don’t forget to never leave your pets alone inside your vehicle, or tied outside a store while you’re gone. Be responsible: don’t take your pet to places where it shouldn’t be, and make sure it lives as happily and healthily as it deserves.
Tip for being a responsible pet owner #1: Remember you don’t really own them
Although we talk about pet ownership, it’s important to recognize you’re not the animal’s owner. Even if most animals will create relationships of fidelity with you, they are not objects or property. Animals have habits and likings which make them distinguishable from other animals, so your relationship with them should be one of mutual knowledge, respect and love.
Animals are not disposable or interchangeable. As soon as they’re in your home they’ll be equivalent to any other member of your family. If you want to enjoy a good relationship with your animal companions, don’t abandon them, don’t trade with them, and never mistreat them, but regard them as your equals.