Are You a Responsible Pet Owner?

Many pet owners come into their role by accident. They meet an animal and unexpectedly fall in love or are convinced by family members to open their home to a pet in need. Others take a different approach, conducting extensive research and exploring compatibility assessments.

Regardless of how a person came to have a pet, there are many different elements of responsible pet ownership that must be taken into account.  

All You Need is Love

Love is a critical component of owning a pet. Without love and affection, other responsibilities would likely suffer. In other words, when people love their pets, they tend to go the extra mile to ensure their overall health, wellness, and happiness.

The Questions

A responsible owner should give special attention to the following questions before adopting:

  • Can I commit to the lifelong care of an animal?
  • Do I currently have a safe home environment?
  • Do I have or expect to have children during this animal’s life?
  • Do I already own a pet who may be negatively impacted by having another animal?
  • Do I expect any changes to my lifestyle in the near or distant future?
  • Can I give a pet the attention they need every day? If not, am I prepared to handle the cost of a pet sitter or daycare?
  • How will I handle a pet who disturbs the peace or needs special socialization training?
  • Can I afford medical treatment, obedience training, and/or emergency care should the need arise?
  • Will I be able to cope with destructive or other unwanted behaviors and work tirelessly toward finding solutions?

Keep Them at Home (Where They Belong)

When you don’t take a close look at your present lifestyle or future, a pet’s stability and security may eventually be compromised. With rising numbers of shelter animals across the country, it’s important to carefully consider whether you can be a responsible pet owner.

To help with your decision making, research the breed that closely matches your lifestyle and daily routine. For example, while cats certainly need attention, exercise, and affection every day, they may be a better fit than a border collie who requires lots of physical exertion and mental stimulation.

The Financial Factor

We offer preventive plans that help keep medical costs down while ensuring that dogs and cats receive yearly (or bi-annual) exams. Parasite prevention, vaccinations, and dental health all contribute to general health and wellness. Although these visits are important and typically cost less than emergency care, they are a lifelong commitment (some animals can live 10 years or more!).

Pet insurance can also be extremely helpful. Some companies will only help with emergency care; others might help pay for dental care procedures and more.

Important Allocations

While many pets are spayed or neutered prior to adoption, some are not. We can help a responsible pet owner determine the best time to perform this procedure.

Microchips are also essential. If a pet hasn’t received one prior to adoption, it’s a good idea to have them chipped in the event of an accidental separation. Although not a replacement for a collar and ID tags, microchips do offer an added layer of security against a lost or missing pet.

Accomplishments of a Responsible Pet Owner

Responsible pet ownership is something that not only impacts an individual pet, it also helps out the larger community. When we all do our part to care for animals, everyone benefits.

If you have additional questions about how you can be a responsible pet owner, please don’t hesitate to contact the team at Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital.