Post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess
In a perfect world there would be a test for those who want to become pet parents or pet guardians. Sadly, as we see all too often people get pets without thinking what it will actually mean to:
- Have a pet in the house
- How much work a pet truly is
- How much it costs to own a pet
- Commit to caring for this pet until the end of his life.
Here are my top five reasons why some people do not deserve a pet:
- You watched a television show or a movie or heard that a football team is going to have XYZ breed as its mascot and now all of a sudden you NEED one of those dogs because they are just so gosh darn adorable when you see them on television. Eddie, the Jack Russell from the television show Frasier (yes, I know I am dating myself here) is a prime example of breed gone wild. People saw how adorable Eddie was and “simply had to have one.” I have never owned a terrier but have friends who have and they say these little guys are headstrong and need to be trained. If you don’t have the time or desire or know-how to do this, then don’t get one. Owning a Dalmatian just because you watched the movie or a Cocker because of Lady and Tramp is just asking for trouble… for the pet, not necessarily you. Before I adopted the diva poodle Henrietta I researched the breed. There were other breeds I researched and when I did I realized they were not the pet for me for various reasons. Now that I have had Henrietta for close to eight years I know that poodles will be the only breed I will choose. Do your homework. Don’t adopt on a whim. Don’t adopt because of a television show — that is the reason shelters are overrun with dogs that were “cute on tv or in a movie” but perhaps not so cute at home.
- You don’t have the money for veterinarian bills. Puppies and kittens are expensive. They require many trips to the vet’s to get their vaccinations and to get spayed or neutered. Pets get sick. Pets need annual check-ups.Pets cost money. You may want to consider investing in pet insurance when you adopt a puppy; it can save you money in the long run, especially if your pet suffers an injury which requires surgery or could cause life long issues.
- You work a lot of hours. Even cats, who are solitary creatures, love to be with their humans. Adopting a pet and then crating it or leaving it to run wild in your house while you’re gone eight, or ten or twelve hours a day is a recipe for disaster. A bored pet is a destructive pet. A bored pet is a lonely pet. What kind of life are you providing if your pet sits and stares at the bars of a crate for dozens of hours a week? Pets need love. Pets need exercise. Pets, especially dogs, need human interaction. If you don’t crate your pet you could come home to chewed shoes, destroyed carpets, toilet paper off the roll, curtains off the rods, cupboard doors opened and dishes scattered (believe me, I have been there, experienced that)
- You don’t take into account that that cute puppy or kitten is going to grow into an adult. While, as any pet parent will tell you — their pet is cute every day, day in and day out — if you didn’t plan for the tiny puppy to grow into a 100 pound adult, shame on you. Just as children grow up, so too, do pets and you need to love them and make that commitment to care for them even after that “new puppy smell” has worn off.
- You only want a pet when it’s fun. When your pets get old, they will slow down. They may not be able to keep up with you on long mountain top hikes. They may have accidents in the house. They may be on medications that are a pain to administer. You may have a pet that, as it ages, suffers many health issues that are costing you more than you’d planned (See #2). An older pet may not smell so great (I know this from having taken in my parents’ 15-year-old Chihuahua). They may be needy or whiny or they may not greet you at the door when you come home from work — not because they don’t want to but maybe because in their old age they’ve grown deaf or blind or their arthritis makes it hard for them to get up. This is the time when your pet needs you the most. When she will rely on you to continue to love her even though she requires more work and more patience. Too often we see senior dogs dumped at shelters; taken from a (we hope) once loving home environment and tossed into a frightening, lonely world simply because they “got too old” or “cost too much.” It is heart wrenching. If you aren’t willing to adopt a pet and be with him until his last breath, then please don’t adopt a pet. You are not doing anyone any favors.
Do you know of any other reasons why people shouldn’t adopt a pet? I’d love to hear!