Are you sure you really need a pet?

Are you sure you really need a pet?
reposted fromplusnineone
Pune Kennel Confederation will organise its 100th dog show during the carnival. (Source: Express Photo by Pavan Khengre) On the onset, let me tell you that this post is not about which breed is better and which one is not. This post will capture a few points that you as a pet owner need to know about pets even before getting them home. In a past few months, I have seen an increase in abandonment cases and a flood of 'breeds' have been left in shelters to rot. The reasons for abandoning a pet are as bizarre as 'moving to a smaller house' to as lazy as 'going to another country, cannot take the pet along' (will share another post on how you can fly your pets with you). The first thing to ask yourself before you get a canine child home is - do you really 'need' a pet? The focus is on NEED and not on WANT. You may want a toy for your child or a birthday gift for your friend but a pet is a big responsibility and you should only get them home if you are ready to go that extra mile. That said, the secret is to know the answers to the 5Ws and 1H. Why do you need a dog? Pets are companions for life and you have to know the reason why you need one.Is it to give you companionship or to protect and accompany your parents at home? Or are you getting a pet because you love animals and believe you are up for the responsibility. There can be many reasons but you need to understand that if you have even an ounce of doubt about getting a pet home, you should not get it. What will you need to change/adopt to? EVERYTHING! I have heard a lot of people talk about how they can get a pet home because they have a 'supportive' family or spouse. Well, trust me when I say that you need all the support in the world and a strong-will to take care of a pet. Few things that you must know are; you have to walk a dog twice a day for atleast 20-30 minutes, you have to give them food and check that they have clean water to drink, a vet visit is a must once a month if everything is fine and regularly if your pet is suffering from an ailment, spending on grooming and training is a must and you have to spend time with your pet and play with them every day. Pets like humans babies need a lot of attention and care, so be prepared for financial, time and emotional investments. Also, be very sure about what kind of dog you want. Mid-size breeds like Labradors and German Shepherds need more and exercise than say a Shih Tzu. Also, their food and grooming needs are different too. When should you get a pet home? There is no right or wrong time for getting a pet but never get a pet home and then decide whether you want to keep it or not. Also, you should visit nearby shelters to see if you can adopt a pet and give a canine child a second chance. Any pet that you will get home will need a few days to settle down. It is advisable to have someone around for the initial days to see that the pet's needs are fulfilled. Who will take care of the pet when you are not there? Thanks to dog boarding and crche, you can now leave your dog behind when you go for vacation or work. However, it is important to know about the place you will leave your pet when you are out. In case, you have someone at home to take care of your pet behind your back; ensure they have all the details regarding your pooch from his medical history to eating habits. Where do you stay and the location? Perhaps the most annoying and most common excuse I have come across in animal welfare is I am moving to a small house. Actually, the size of the house is of little consideration if your dog can get enough exercise. Depending on the breed, your pet may need anywhere between 20 mins to 40 mins of exercise. Focus on activity and you will have a healthy dog. Another point to note is the area you live in. Some societies have guidelines for keeping a dog and as a responsible owner you need to make sure you follow those guidelines. How will you know if your dog is unwell? How will you manage the dog? How will you help him adjust? There are no short ways and you as a pet owner will learn over time. Like a child, a dog will also tell you when they are feeling low or when they need to go out to relieve themselves. All you have to do is be aware. Read More

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