Got a new Kitten or Puppy?… Or just thinking about getting one?… Then you gotta to read this. YES I know they are melting your heart right. Well they’re supposed to, it’s their secret weapon. But a WISE PET PARENT has to be prepared or that cuteness will quickly wear off and it will be a disaster not only for you but more importantly for THEM.
PLEASE Before you get a NEW pet as a family member ask yourself some very important questions FIRST.
1.Do I have the TIME for this little one?
You wouldn’t believe the things I have to witness surrounding this question. Pets are an investment and they are going to live for at least 10 years or more and your life is going to drastically change with this new addition… and it’s supposed to. So no impulse decisions here PLEASE. Really think about it and PLAN for it properly. It BREAKS my heart when people impulsively get a pet without thinking.
They have the best of intentions, but when a new pet becomes an inconvenience they abandon it causing emotional scars for that animal. They are living, breathing beings who have a heart that can be broken.
2. Do you have adequate FINANCES to make sure this pet will be well taken care of?
Remember I said Pets are an investment? Well they are you have to add into your budget their food, Vet care, Grooming, play toys, Day care, Emergencies, outside help.. such as trainers etc. I always tell people to plan for a minimum of $500.00 to $1,000.00 to be on the safe side.
If you are not prepared these costs can become stressful and lead to Pet neglect, or worse an animal losing their home because of poor planning and Nobody wants that.
3. Are you going to be EMOTIONALLY available for your pet?
Yep I know what your thinking… this is a NO BRAINER Right? Believe it or not some people still don’t get it. Pets have emotional needs that have to be taken care of. If you are the kind of person who doesn’t want to be tied down and want the option to be FREE to go on trip at a moments notice, or don’t come home because you’re having a good time where ever you may be.
Pets are going to be an inconvenience for you, because they are just like children except they have fur. You have to plan with them in mind. They need schedules to feel content and balanced emotionally. They need to know with all confidence that they are important and that they will not be abandoned. People underestimate their intelligence most of the time. They can feel when they are not wanted.
4. Know in ADVANCE what kind of Pet fits your lifestyle.
First things first… What kind of person are you? Are you active? Or are you more the laid back type? Do you have a lot space? Or do you live in a tiny space? According to how you answered will show you what type of pet to plan for…
Are you the kind of person that wants your pet to be independent? Then you might want to think about getting a CAT. Cats are AWESOME! They don’t take up much space and are pretty neat & clean and are more independent than our doggie friends. Although keep in mind they too need attention and affection and the security of a close bond with you.
Maybe you’re an active person who’s always on the go. Then might I suggest a active working dog like a Border Collie. Or maybe you want somebody with you at all time that will be a sort of forever baby with fur then you might want to look at a toy breed. Whatever your personality type I’m positive there is a pet to accommodate you needs and desires.
5. Do you want a Baby Pet or will something Older be a better fit you?
I know this might seem like a no brainer… but trust me it isn’t. Not everybody wants a hyper puppy or kitty. If you do, that’s wonderful! There are tons of babies looking to complete your home as your new family member. But keep in mind Older pets are AWESOME! Yes they may not live as long as a puppy or kitty but don’t count them out. For one thing usually they are already trained and have wonderful manners… not to mention they are calm and care about pleasing you more.
So if you are a person who doesn’t have, or want to have a lot of energy playing, going for long walks and the patience factor, an older pet may just be the ticket for you. There are tons of beautiful older pets and seniors waiting to rock your world. So PLEASE do yourself a favor and check it out.
6. Could you be an ADVOCATE for a Handicap or Special needs Pet?
Now this isn’t for everybody, But I have to tell you there are some absolutely amazing special needs pets available. Such as Blind doggies & kitties that still have such a great attitude and let NOTHING slow them down. Or doggies and kitties in wheelchairs that can romp with the best of them.
These animals are so wonderful. Nobody told them that they were handicapped so they really don’t acknowledge it. They just want to be loved and have such great attitudes. If you’re interested please let me know I would be honored to introduce to some of them.
7. Do you have the patience for a HIGH MAINTENANCE Pet?
People Never think about this one. Seriously folks… Yes you love that long luxurious fur, but guess what you have to brush it everyday or it will knot and matt and then it has to be cut out. It’s horrible for the pet and gets expensive for you.
Or what about a pet that naturally slobbers profusely? Guess what that’s going to be all over your home. I’ve seen this too many times to mention and eventually the pet is banned from indoors and forced to live outside. No pets should have to live this way. This was not the way you started , or intended when you first go them. It shouldn’t be the way you end either. All because of not thinking things through and careful planning.
8. Do you have CHILDREN in your household & will you be RESPONSIBLE for EDUCATING them about Pets?
Soooo this is a personal Pet Peeve of mine. Some people believe children naturally know how to treat pets. I have to say that ridiculous and couldn’t be further from the truth! Some children are naturally cruel to animals so you should ALWAYS be watchful and not leave a defenseless animal to fall victim. Or worse defend itself and them lose it’s home.
You as RESPONSIBLE Pet Parents have to show children how to treat & respect animals. Not to tease or taunt them in any way. Also when enough is enough. There have been so many times I’ve seen a pet with children give signals I’ve had enough leave me alone and the adults sitting right in the vicinity didn’t have a clue.
Even petting or playing grows tiring after a while and children should not be able to insists on petting or playing with an animal when they are tired and trying to leave and separate themselves. This is your responsibility to be watchful and know when enough is enough to prevent any accidents.
9. Are there EXISTING Pets already in your household?
Again, there is a misconception that you can just throw pets together and expect everyone will get along. This is INCORRECT! You may get lucky with a tolerant older pet, but more than likely if pets are not introduced properly you’ve just created a fight for territory, and jealousy issues. Fights like these can result in deadly consequences with one pet killed or extremely injured.
It’s better to be educated about how to do this properly (if you would like some help in this area email me and I will show you how to introduce a new pet the right way). Think about it in the animal world in the wild animals know better than to approach a foreign territory. And if they do they are prepared for a fight
10. Do you have a SPOUSE or Someone else living in the house that doesn’t like Pets?
So, PLEASE if this is you… DON’T GET A PET! Yep I said it. You may be an animal lover but if your spouse or significant other is not all you will do is create a hostile environment and your pet will have some sort of anxiety issue because of it.
This is the truth, and to try to believe anything else like… the other person may change is wrong, selfish and irresponsible. You may end up in some cases be putting an innocent life in danger. Human beings can be unusually cruel and ignorant so please think before you bring an animal into this type of situation.
Trust me guys I’m not trying to be a downer here or discourage you, but what kind of irresponsible Pet Behaviorist would I be to not bring this stuff up? Pets are an investment, and more importantly a part of your family. I mean you would plan for a new baby on the way right? And you wouldn’t just give them up if it weren’t convenient for you anymore, or if they got sick? So why would you do it to an innocent animal that’s completely dependent on you?
I think people have the best of intentions in the beginning. I just have witnessed so many unnecessary horrors involving innocent animals that I will do whatever is in my power to prevent it from reoccurring again.
Until next time Remember Pets Rule!