Owning a Pet is a Privilege

Is it a Right to own an animal?  NO, it is a Responsibility, Are you ready?
Owning a pet is a privilege, and should result in a positive long term relationship. However, the benefits of ownership come with obligations. I would like to list some of the important responsibilities of pet ownership.
  • Committing to the relationship for the life of the pet(s).
  • Avoiding impulsive decisions about obtaining pet(s), and carefully selecting pet(s) suited to your home and lifestyle.
  • Recognizing that ownership of pet(s) requires an investment of time and money.
  • Keeping only the type and number of pets for which an appropriate and safe environment can be provided, including appropriate food, water, shelter, health care, and companionship.
  • Ensuring pets are properly identified (i.e. tags, microchips, or tattoos) and that registration information in associated databases is kept up to date.
  • Adherence to local ordinances, including licensing and leash requirements.
  • Controlling pet(s) reproduction through managed breeding, containment, or spay/neuter thereby helping to address animal control and overpopulation problems.
  • Establishing and maintaining a veterinarian-client-patient relationship.
  • Providing preventive (e.g., vaccinations, parasite control) and therapeutic health care for the life of pet(s) in consultation with and as recommended by its veterinarian.
  • Socialization and appropriate training for pet(s) which facilitates their well-being and the well- being of other animals and people.
  • Preventing pet(s) from negatively impacting other people, animals and the environment, including proper waste disposal, noise control, and not allowing pet(s) to stray or become feral.
  • Providing exercise and mental stimulation appropriate to the pet(s) age, breed, and health status.
  • Advance preparation to ensure the pet(s) well-being in the case of an emergency or disaster, including assembling an evacuation kit.
  • Making alternative arrangements if caring for the pet is no longer possible.
  • Recognizing declines in the pet(s)’ quality of life and making decisions in consultation with a veterinarian regarding appropriate end-of-life care (e.g., palliative care, hospice, euthanasia.
I am a pet owner, and do not want to think about my life without pets. They are truly members of my family, and my goal is to provide the best life possible for them, for all they do for me. One of my favorite quotes: “Dogs are not my whole life, but they make my life whole”, Roger Caras.  My variation is including all pets, not just dogs.
In summary: Let’s all make it our goal to be responsible pet owners, and teach others how pets can enrich our lives.