What you need to consider before getting a pet – Part 10

You should seriously think of getting a pet the same way you would having a/another child. This is a huge decision and should never be taken lightly. I have seen a number of people get a pet and a few weeks later decide its just not for them and either give away to god knows who or give it the humane society. What is wrong with these people, seriously what would ever make some tone think its ok to “try out” a pet and then decide. Here’s a tip if your really not sure then your not ready! there is an entire check list you should go through before you even decide to get a pet. this list is courtesy of BC SPCA:

IMPULSE or COMMITMENT: Why do I want a pet?

Many people like the idea of a pet or can’t resist a cute puppy or kitten, but don’t think about the changes it will make in their life. Pets are companions. They live with us and depend on us for all of their needs. This is a great responsibility and one that should not be taken lightly. The kind of relationship you build with your pet is dependent on the commitment you are willing to make.

FOR THE KIDS: Pets teach kids responsibility, right?

You will have problems in your household if you adopt a pet under the assumption he is for the kids to take care of to learn responsibility. Getting any pet must be a family decision and a family responsibility. For children to understand the routine of pet care and actively participate in the pet’s care, wait until your kids are at least seven years old. Kids are also enthusiastic in the beginning but can tire quickly of the routine of pet care, especially the messy tasks like scooping poop. Remember, ultimately the parent is responsible for the pet. Consider the life span of the animal you choose as well. Are you willing to be responsible for the pet once your children leave home?

LIFESTYLE: What type of relationship am I seeking?

If you are planning on having an outdoor dog, think again. Dogs are social animals and crave the company of humans, their “pack.” Leaving a dog exclusively outdoors will lead to behaviour issues and undermine the psychological well being of your dog. Isolation is unreasonable. Many people end up banishing a dog to the outside when they underestimate the time commitment to make sure their pet is well adjusted or the dog creates too much work for the guardians.

Cats, too, are social and are safer and healthier if kept indoors providing they have a stimulating indoor environment. If left outside they are victim to cars, other

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