Pet ownership takes time, money, commitment, patience – and will completely change your life.
Please think very seriously before taking on an animal!
Before getting any pet, ask yourself why you want an animal – and how you’re going to look after it – pet ownership can be great fun, but is a HUGE RESPONSIBILITY.
Are you overly house-proud?
Then DON’T get a dog or cat – cat and dog hair gets everywhere!
Some animals will never stop scratching/chewing the furniture – even if they have toys/scratching posts.
Are you squeamish?
Pet owners need to worm their animals, treat them for fleas and other conditions – and generally clean up after them.
Discuss having a pet with ALL members of your household before committing yourself.
Never take on an animal purely out of pity.
What sort of pet?
Before choosing a pet, think about your lifestyle and where you live – cats and dogs like to spend time outside, is your garden secure?
It makes no sense to have a dog if you live in high-rise flats – or a cat if you live on a busy main road.
Do you work, have a baby, young children or an elderly person living with you?
If planning to start a family, will the pet still be welcome?
Can you say that you’ll be able and willing to give your animal a good, loving home – perhaps for the next 15 years?
What will it cost to keep your chosen pet?
There’s food, bedding, equipment, housing…
Vet’s bills and insurance are expensive.
It currently costs around £700 a year to keep an average sized dog in the UK.
Most pets need regular vaccinations and veterinary check-ups.
The RSPCA recommends that all cats and dogs be neutered to prevent unwanted litters – so please consider this cost when deciding whether or not to have a pet.
Do you have the time?
The type of animal you chose to keep as a pet depends largely on the amount of time you are prepared to spend with it.
If you work full-time, avoid dogs – they need regular walks and a lot of attention.
Cats, though more in dependant, can still get lonely.
If you’re going to be out all day (and can afford it) perhaps consider having two cats, so they can keep one another company.
Long-hared cats need combing every day to keep them matt-free.
Rabbits need a safe, spacious living area – with a secure, escape-proof garden or run – and the essential companionship of either another rabbit or guinea pig.
We now only house rabbits and guinea pigs in pairs or social groups.
ALL animals need a regular routine, as well as lots of love and attention, but most importantly – pets need owners who are going to stay interested in them FOR ALL OF THEIR LIVES.