Pet ownership in an economic recession – Part 6

The recession has hidden victims in the pets that are homeless along with their owners. When a home is foreclosed on it’s a difficult time for owners – do they vow to not give up their pet as they made a committment and care for them the best way possible or do they give their pet up? Either way is met with criticism and attacks many times and it’s something that each individual can offer a personal answer themselves.

When someone takes the responsibility of a pet for life that animal bonds in a way they don’t care how much money you have. A dog is happy being with you whether that is curled up sleeping in a car or on a heated blanket in luxury! Cats are only slightly less picky in many cases. Those with pets that have more specific needs have more limited options. Reptiles, for example, need a certain environment to live. Horses are pets for many but it’s not healthy for the horse to be tied to the bumper of a pickup for 23 hours per day!

When the money gets tight many people cut their own food, cut the pet’s food and sometimes look for ways to stretch every dime. Basic vaccinations, arguably, can sometimes be skipped if the immunity of the animal is sufficient – further vaccinations don’t give more immunity. Pets that have a need for certain medicines are another story.

Some owners take a larger look at natural or homeopathic health care for their pets. Getting a better quality food to feed less of is one option while others scrape together $10 for whatever food it will buy to keep their pet from going hungry. An increased awareness of not overfeeding and using measured amounts of feed is a good practice to apply.

Birds can be another issue as they can sometimes be stressed to ill health with instability. The larger birds, such as parrots, are longer lived and thus mean a longer commitment and no one can accurately predict everything for the next 30-40 years!

As pet owners we do the best we can for our pets. One alternative for many is reducing veterinary trips for emergencies and taking a bigger role in providing medical care from getting vaccinations at feed stores or online and doing it themselves to using diotemaceous earth for parasite control internally and externally. Recreational bones and the chewing action they provide can increase dental care without veterinary visits for dogs and to a lesser extent cats. Preventative care can make a big difference in what is needed

As pet owners it’s important to realize also that our pets don’t need toys, clothes and fancy accessories – these are not NEEDS in their lives. There are many pets who never have a birthday party and the only photographs of them are from the owner’s own camera. Often as owners we must take a hard look at needs vs (our) wants!

Most pet owners take in our pets out of love and get back much more than we give them. Your cat or dog doesn’t understand the concept of money and *things* we humans take seriously. Love them, provide their most basic needs and we can be surprised at sometimes how little that is. Good food, a safe place to sleep and clean water – and you! This is heaven to our pets…so much of the rest is what we project for them.

Food, water, shelter, love. It doesn’t get more basic than that!

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