The Responsibility of Pet Keeping

pet-ownersWhile pets are abundant in our culture, it’s easy to forget that owning pets is a luxury that requires a lot of responsibility and time commitment. We all want the best for our pets, which is why it is important to remember the time, emotional, and financial obligations that are associated with pet ownership.

According to the American Pet Products Association, Americans spent just over $60 billion on their pets in 2015. This number likely includes food, training, grooming, toys, veterinary care, and formal kennel services, Dr. Christine Rutter, clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences said. However, this number probably does not include carpet cleaning, replaced shoes, furniture repair, or paying a friend to watch your pet while you travel, Rutter added.

While owning a pet may seem like a good idea, Rutter suggested considering all the expenses of keeping a pet, including veterinary visits and pet services and supplies. “A pet may be a small aspect of a person’s life, but the pet owner is everything to the pet,” she said.

Before choosing a pet, Rutter suggested considering factors such as the amount of time you can spend with the pet, money for veterinary care and supplies, and the space you have available for exercise. She said, “It is good to put some serious thought into whether or not your life is compatible with the needs of a pet before adopting or purchasing a pet.”

Additionally, potential pet owners should think about what is the healthiest environment for a specific type of pet. Each type of pet has different needs, whether you are caring for a beta fish, gerbil, cat, or dog. Rutter suggested pet owners do their homework by researching their pet’s environmental, grooming, nutrition, and housing needs. For example, a cat or a fish may be best suited for someone living in an apartment, while a bigger breed of dog may be more appropriate for someone with a big backyard. Your veterinarian can also offer you advice and guide you in your research. read more…

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