To Become a Pet Owner OR Not, THAT is the question!
With Christmas just around the corner many of you are starting to think about what gifts to buy your significant others or even yourself. Many may be considering adding a new furry (or perhaps not so furry) family member to the household. When considering this question, it is important to sit down consider a few points. The biggest question is, can I look after this Puppy, Dog, Kitten, cat or something more exotic, for the rest of its life? After all a pet is for life.
Positives to Pet Ownership
Whether your pet is young or old they bring enjoyment to all. Pets are fantastic company for older people and younger people. Looking at your dog’s face has been scientifically proven to release oxytocin, a hormone essential for trust and good feelings. For families with children they offer educational values. Children learn responsibilities about everyday care for an animal. It offers a unique opportunity for younger people to learn about the life cycle of animals relate that back to humans.
Dogs promote heart health, they don’t just fill your heart, they actually make it stronger. By lowering your blood pressure due to daily walks. In conjunction with this, they keep you fit and active and with any luck keep you trim particularly around the festive season.
Having a pet can also improve your social life and confidence. Whether your meeting up with a friend for a doggy walk or just popping into a PetO for some cat food we can start talking to another pet owner in the same isle, or bond over your dog’s ball obsession.
Stress levels can also be dramatically reduced, by just simply sitting down and stroking your pet, your cortisol (stress-inducing hormone) levels decrease. Many animals have been used as assistance dogs in a formal way to help vetran’s with post-traumatic stress disorder, or for children with special needs.
Experiencing an animal grow into a life long companion, and a family member is very special. Knowing you have brought them up well and taught him/her right from wrong is tremendously rewarding. Sounds like I am referring to a child I know, but there are many similarities. You provide for pet as you do for a child. You teach your pet, as you educate your child, and in the early days you get up through the night with your pet, as you do with a child, or nurse them when they are unwell. This can be a truly uplifting experience.
The Big Issues
There are also other areas that need to be considered when deciding whether to become a pet owner and the type of pet you choose. Here at Vet-O the vets are here to help you make the correct decision.
Can I afford to take care of them once I have paid the initial out cost of purchasing/rescuing an animal?
The cost of looking after animals in an appropriate manner can be substantial. Orthopaedic surgery for a dog with a ruptured cruciate can cost thousands. Mice on the other hand, while small generally generate small costs to keep in a clean healthy environment, or to treat for illness.
Is your home big enough for the pet you are considering?
A Great Dane living in a small studio apartment probably does not get to exhibit their normal behavior and therefore may not be best. Maybe a small breed such as Silky Terrier or Cavalier King Charles Spaniel might be better suited to that environment. Alternatively, a turtle living in a generous terrarium may be suitable for a single room.
Can you handle the mess they create?
Of course, ponies like to run, eat grass and can create a good volume of waste. This would be fine in a paddock, but perhaps not in that two-bedroom apartment. Small mammals, such as rats or ferrets tend to be easily contained and create a small amount of waste. They don’t tend to chew your favourite chair or sharpen their claws on the two-thousand-dollar couch.
Do you have the time to commit to your new family member?
Many pets are very self-sufficient, whereas others require big time commitments to make them happy. Dogs love to have regular walks and while it is also good for the owner, if they do not expend energy appropriately, they may end up targeting one of your treasured possessions to destroy. This often requires some time commitment so if you work 60-hour weeks, a puppy may not be the ideal choice as a pet. Fish on the other hand can entertain themselves in an appropriately stocked aquarium.
Do you have knowledge of the future pet’s basic needs?
It is essential that any pet owner has a good knowledge of individual pet’s requirements to meet their needs. Did you know carrots are not a staple food for rabbits? This idea has been popularized by cartoons we watched as kids, but carrots don’t generally contain enough fibre for rabbit’s digestive systems to function properly and should only be fed occasionally. Lots of uncommon but desirable pets have requirements not known by the general public and it is important to be kept informed by your local veterinarian.
Do you have alternative arrangements ready if you leave for holidays?
While a week in Fiji may be just what you need, you will not be able to take kitty along for the ride. Generally, if you are absent for more than a 24-hour period dogs and cats will need someone to walk and feed them. This may be achieved at a boarding kennel, cattery or through a house sitter.
Here at Vet-O, we are happy to provide advice to the “soon to be” pet owner about which may be best for you or the discuss intricacies of pet ownership if you are thinking of become in at pet owner. Vet-O is happy to provide this FREE OF CHARGE.
If after reading this you are still considering adopting and buying a pet, or have already brought them home, please feel free to stop and say hello when you’re walking around PetO. We would love to meet you and your beloved pet, however if you’ve chosen a venomous snake then maybe don’t walk them around store on a leash.
Important Veterinary Visits at the Start
Puppys, kittens, even ferrets or rabbits require a course of vaccinations. We stock high quality, very reasonably priced vaccinations. Vet- O clients feel good, knowing that when they leave, their bank balances still look healthy. At Vet-O we aim to make vet care as affordable as possible.
Both Dogs and Cats need annual vaccinations which can be a financial burden to many, not only do they require this, they also need to be kept up to date with worming, flea and tick treatment for the rest of their lives. Having a pet is a life-long commitment, financially and physically. As Vet-O we are not only happy to supply these products but we can also help administer them which for some owners, can be tricky.
You may wish to consider taking out pet insurance for your furry companion. While this will incur a monthly premium, it may offset any expensive emergency costs that occur if the worst were to happen. They will also cover for unexpected diseases that may arise. Advice on pet insurance, and what to look for when committing to a monthly payment can be made easier by talking to an employer of a veterinary clinic. We can help steer you in the right direction.
If your potentially soon to be beloved pet is not microchipped, then they should be ‘chipped’ as soon as possible. This allows any veterinary clinics to contact owners if the animal is brought in as a stray. At Vet-O we up load the microchip information to our computer system, taking away the horrible thought that the paper work sent to the council gets missed placed. Council also states that every dog and cat in NSW must be registered by 6 months of age. If your address details or contact number changes it’s up to you to contact the council directly or contact the pound, making sure you have your pet’s microchip number at the ready. Don’t worry, however, as a client at this clinic your pet’s microchip number will be stored on our file in case you lose or forget it.
To be a good pet owner you have to be true to yourself and the animal you might be bringing home.
At Vet-O we offer a 24 hour service, allowing your pet to been seen by the same vet making sure you and pet are at ease when making a visit after hours. To recieve any advice regarding owning a pet, feel free to get in touch with us →