Pet Ownership and the Responsibilities of a Pet Owner
Owning a pet is not just a right but also a responsibility. This is important to remember, because we are constantly exposed to things that are for sale that we may want to purchase. Pets are unfortunatly sold or purchased the same way. Even those of us that are offered the 'Free' pet, quickly find out that the animal is 'not free'. Though all of us who have pets or want them love animals it is important to remember that the impulse to get a pet comes with a price and responsibility to take care of that pet properly.
Ask people in the animal health care industry and I am sure all of us would agree, that we would rather see an owner have one pet that they take care of very well, versus an owner that has many pets, but can not afford to take care of any of them. Before acquiring a new pet, it is always best to think about it carefully and weight the pros and cons and impact the pet will have on your house, your family, your current pets and your cost of living. The following exerpt is from the AVMA and provides some good points to consider when thinking about acquiring a new pet.
Responsible Pet Ownership
Owning a pet is a privilege, but the benefits of pet ownership come with responsibilities.
Be a Responsible Pet Owner:
- Avoid impulsive decisions when selecting a pet.
- Select a pet that's suited to your home and lifestyle.
- Keep only the type and number of pets for which you can provide appropriate food, water, shelter, health care and companionship.
- Commit to the relationship for the life of your pet(s).
- Provide appropriate exercise and mental stimulation.
- Properly socialize and train your pet.
- Recognize that pet ownership requires an investment of time and money.
- Make sure your pet receives preventive health care (vaccinations, parasite control, etc.), as well as care for any illnesses or injuries.
- Budget for potential emergencies.
- Clean up after your pet.
- Obey all local ordinances, including licensing, leash requirements and noise control.
- Don't allow your pet to stray or become feral.
- Make sure your pet is properly identified (i.e., tags, microchips, or tattoos) and keep its registration up-to-date.
- Don't contribute to our nation's pet overpopulation problem: limit your pet's reproduction through spay/neuter, containment or managed breeding.
- Prepare for an emergency or disaster, including assembling an evacuation kit.
- Make alternate arrangements if you can no longer provide care for your pet.
- Recognize any decline in your pet's quality of life and make timely decisions in consultation with a veterinarian.
For additional information please click the link to the AVMA.ORG