Below are eight important questions to answer before you make this commitment to your new friend. If you cannot answer an honest “Yes” to each and every question, you should think carefully and reconsider bringing a pet into your home. It may be that the needs of the animal outweigh your willingness or ability to care for it.
Children should never be made completely responsible for an animal’s well being, but should have adult supervision and help. Would you want your existence to be the sole responsibility of a child?
Puppies need to be taken outside to go to the bathroom every two to two and a half hours, and watched carefully so they do not chew on inappropriate things. Housebreaking takes time and patience, as does breaking them from chewing on your personal items. Kittens, left to their own devices will possibly climb draperies, munch on houseplants that could be toxic, and even chew on electrical cords. Inappropriate behavior can be changed, but someone has to be there to change it, or the animal must be kept from such behavior.
Exercising Fido does not mean throwing them out in the back yard to be left on their own. Dogs left outside for long periods without attention or companionship from their owner can get bored and pick up inappropriate behaviors, like barking at everything that moves, digging, and fence jumping. Try sitting outside in your backyard for a long period of time and see how bored you get. Dogs who do not get enough exercise can also pick up boredom created behaviors, not to mention obesity which can effect their health in negative ways.
Animals cost money, there is no doubt about that. They need vaccinations to keep them from getting diseases just like children, they have sicknesses and emergencies just like children, and like children they need the best care you can provide. Unlike children though, clothing is optional. 🙂
The only good reason to allow a dog or cat to have offspring is to better the condition of the breed. This means having a purebred registered animal that has been thoroughly tested for any genetic deficiencies, and found completely sound and healthy. Animals not of this quality should be altered. This protects our society from more unwanted pets, offspring with serious inherited physical problems, and the animal itself from unwanted pregnancies, and ailments such as testicular cancer.
Pets outside of your home should be confined in your own yard, or kept on a leash. Animal control laws vary from place to place, and can sometimes carry a very hefty fine for non-compliance, and/or confiscation. Pets that are not controlled are subject to being struck by cars and picking up diseases from other animals. They are also targets for inhumane intentions by other individuals, such as theft for sale to testing labs, poisoning, and being injured by a gun or trap.
Lots of animals end up abandoned in shelters every day because of some trait that the owners never took into account when they decided they wanted it. The tiny little puppy can sometimes grow to be an enormous dog, some dogs drool, some are full of abundant energy and need alot of exercise or become bored and destructive, and most dogs and cats shed all over your furniture and rug. These are facts that cannot be ignored simply because the animal is “so cute” when you first see it. Impulse buying is a terrible shame when the animal it involves ends up paying the price.
Pets are a big responsibility with big rewards. With the proper care and love, you will have a friend for life who will give you years of happiness and unconditional love. They are basically nothing more than small fuzzy children though. They are trusting and loving, cannot be expected to take care of themselves, and must be taught proper behavior. Animals as well as children should never be abused.