Pets are a source of happiness, love and company for many pet parents. For a lot of people, the first time they bring a pet into their home is one of the best moments in their life. We must never forget however, that while fun and also beneficial for many pet parents, having a pet is a great responsibility!
Pets need to be thought about, looked after and loved like any other family member.
So if you’re thinking about adopting a pet, read our blog and find out how to do so responsibly.
Acquiring a new companion, a long-term commitment
Before getting a pet, you should be aware that it is a long-term commitment. Indeed, the average lifespan of dogs and cats is around 12 years. Many dogs and cats live up to 15 years, sometimes up to 20 years! They are therefore real-life companions, often sharing a long journey with us. So, we have to be able to take care of our animals for their entire life.
It is also important to remember that our pets will not remain a puppy or kitten for very long. So, we need to make sure we love and care for our pets, no matter how old or active they are.
Taking time for our pets
When you own a pet, it is essential that we provide a lot of time and attention for them. For example, you need to have time to feed them, care for them, train, play with and love them. Some pets can be more time-consuming than others, but they all still require a dedicated amount of care and time. Puppies and kittens in particular need our close attention.
Making sure we can provide for them financially
Aside from your time and care, you will also need to be able to provide financially for things like medical care, such as vaccinations, microchipping, neutering, and perhaps other health care. There are also costs associated with food, toys, comfort, and training, etc. These costs will continue throughout your pet’s life, they’re not a one-time cost. You also cannot overlook the potential for unforeseen costs, if your pet develops a serious illness or has an accident.
Accommodation is an important part of responsible pet care
You also need to think about whether your home is suitable for the pet you’d like to share it with. Some pets need more space than others. For example, you should consider whether your garden is big enough for your dog, is there’s a safe space for rabbits or guinea pigs to enjoy the outdoors, whether your outdoor space is secure enough (with fences, etc.).
Research is a must
It is important to do some research on the pet you’d like to bring into your home. Each pet, and each breed has specific needs and requires special care. Make sure you are well informed about all their general needs and ask the shelter or breeder about their more personal needs.
Do not hesitate to ask for additional information and advice from professionals or from the adoption organisation concerned.
Is my lifestyle compatible with a pet?
And a final important point is to make sure to consider if your lifestyle can work alongside caring for a pet. Does your lifestyle, job, and travels, etc. allow us to take good care of your pet? A pet is completely dependent on their guardian. If you don’t have the time or money to provide all these things for your pet, it probably means that your lifestyle is not compatible with the pet’s needs.
Many people adopt pets without really thinking about whether they will have time to care for them. This leads to, millions of animals being abandoned every year, as some end up viewing the pet as a “burden” and no longer want to invest the time and energy in being a responsible pet parent. ESDAW-EU estimates that there are about 100,000,000 abandoned animals in Europe. Let’s not add to those numbers!