Responsible Pet Owner – An Important Commitment

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homeiswhereLorie Huston wrote this (albeit sponsored) post on committing to be a responsible pet owner.

Being a Responsible Pet Owner – An Important Commitment

I think the following paragraph sums it up (italics mine).



As you can see, there is a lot that goes into being a responsible pet owner. Some of it is fun. Who doesn’t love playing with your dog or cat? Some of it is tedious. Litter box chores spring to mind, or taking your dog outside to relieve himself when it’s snowing or raining or just plain nasty outdoors. Besides the physical chores, there are financial responsibilities as well. Of course, our pets are worth all this. My house would be empty without my cats. It just wouldn’t seem like home. But still, having pets carries an obligation that must be met in order to be fair to the pet.

I sometimes wonder if we should give out tests (or exams) to PEOPLE  before letting someone have a pet.  Included in this exam would be questions around the time required to provide proper amount of exercise, the cost of “normal” vet visits, and some items on the less fun parts of pet ownership.  Look, a lot of us love our pets and will do anything for them. But many people are just not aware of what it really takes to make a happy and healthy home for their pet.  Time to raise awareness?

What do you think? Do you have ideas on how we can raise awareness and educate potential new owners so their dogs don’t end up at the shelter?

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  1. It depends on what you think ‘responsible’ is. Most pets end up at a shelter because they are lost are shelters put minimal efforts into finding the owners, and owners aren’t exactly sure of how to find their pets. On this side of things, YES, more education is needed. However, a lot of pets end up in shelters because they are surrendered due to change of circumstances – particularly moving between rental properties. In these types of circumstances, I think we need legislation for landlords (must allow pets), women’s shelters (must allow pets) and emergency accommodation (must allow pets) spring to mind.

    I think sometimes ‘the everyday dog owner’ gets over-criticised in the dog world. Owning dogs in different ways doesn’t making you ‘bad’ or ‘good’, ‘responsible’ or ‘irresponsible’.
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    • Good points Tegan. You are right that different styles of dog ownership should not make you good or bad. I think the main thing is to understand what it takes from a time and financial perspective before you adopt a dog so that there are less surprises. Also knowing that your dog is a sentient being and treating them with proper respect is, IMHO, crucial. These are not throw away toys!

  2. People often don’t realize that when you buy a dog you are commiting to that dog for 10 to 15 years. This is a huge commitment which can’t be taken lightly
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