Remember that popular ad, where a pup walks behind a little boy wherever he goes? Didn’t you wish you had a pet just like that? Bollywood doesn’t spare you either. It constantly reminds you that a dog is indeed a man’s best friend. Kittens and pups are indeed cute. They are all furry and cuddly. Carried away by such thoughts, many people bring home a pet. But before long, unable to handle the challenges, they wonder what to do with it. Scores of people abandon pets because they realise they are not up for the challenge.
So what does it mean to own a pet?
A pet really is a huge responsibility. So, unless you are ready to clear the poop, clean the dirt, and feed on time, don’t even bother thinking about having the pet around. Also, it is advisable to answer questions such as – who will care for the pet? Are you buying it as a gift for your kid or for someone else?
Well, it is surprising, how many people miss this vital part of having the pet around.
Buying the pet might be A one-time expense in this regard. But vaccinations, grooming, regular vet visits, food, and toys are a few of the things you may have to spend on quite frequently.
Do you have the right attitude and temperament to handle things around the house? Having an animal in your lives means, they need attention, love and constant care. Although many pets can be great listeners, it could also mean you have to handle all the complexities that come along with the animal.
Having another living thing in your house can be quite life changing. The pet needs to be fed, cleaned, and tended to. This means you have to invest in love and time every day of your life. At times, you may not even be able to travel. In many parks, beaches, and buildings, pets may not be welcome. So, having a pet around could mean a lot of changes.
It also requires a certain amount of discipline to have a dog or a cat around. There is no pet that needs least care or discipline. Pets love routine and they really enjoy being fed and walked at the same time every day. Routine is important for the animal’s well being in terms of physical and mental health.
Having pets means they are around the house all day. Some of these animals can be close to food objects or even close to our kids.
Pets can be germ carriers and there are some basic hygiene routines that, people around the house need to practise. Animal saliva, skin and body can have a host of germs that can be potentially harmful to humans. Cats and dogs, in particular, carry a lot of allergens that can cause severe reactions to kids.
If you have given all these aspects a thought already, and still want to go ahead and have a pet, you will need to consider what can be an ideal pet for your household.
Some people have an eye for the exotic ones like turtles, snakes, guinea pigs, monkeys, spiders (tarantulas) or even scorpions. If you are considering one of these, then, it is best to do some homework. Not only are some of these species in the endangered list, but also require a different kind of care-taking altogether. If you are indeed looking at an exotic breed, then make sure you have CITES certificate.
The most important lesson is to understand your pet. Since, many pets are bred away from their natural habitat, it is important to give them all the comfort they need.
* Room temperature: Some animals cannot survive in extreme temperatures. So, it is important to house them in a temperature controlled environment.
* Food habits: Human food is not meant for animals. Period. Pets cannot digest salts and sugars. So, it is best to refrain from feeding them table food . So, give your pets their recommended diet only.
* Body weight: Obesity is not just the concern for humans. Pets tend to become extremely big, obese, and lazy if they don’t exercise well.
* Vaccines and shots: Many pets have to get a recommended number of vaccines and shots. Alternately, think about getting your pet spayed or neutered. Most people around the world advocate this to reduce the risk of cancer and for a long and healthy life of the pet. Also, get your pet (dog) micro-chipped. This is a painless process and increases the chances of finding your pet back in case you lose it.
* Grooming: The gorgeous cute look of your pet needs maintenance. Bathing, clipping the nails, and brushing the fur is very important to keep your pet looking adorable or cuddly.
It helps that animal love is truly unconditional. Pets just love you for who you are. This compliments the owner’s happiness by leaps and bounds. In fact, children with ADHD or other behavioural issues are known to benefit a great deal by just being around with a pet or by teaching the pet a new trick.
Remember one thing though. A pet can be your playmate, but it is not a plaything! It’s a living creature that shares a home with you. In every sense, it is essentially a member of your family. Are you truly ready to make space for this special friend