• December 8, 2023

How to determine if you are a good pet owner

  1. Because I want something to love.  A noble reason, but love is not all a pet needs.  It needs a financial lifetime commitment.  Make sure you are not just owning a pet out of despiration for something to love, but because you also want to "care".  Sometimes these people turn into animal "collectors", people whose homes are filled with more pets than they can care for. 
  2. Because I want something to love me.  A selfish reason, but one often given by children.  Pets love us because we feed them and care for them.  We have to give them that love back and if we are only taking it, we are not owning pets for the right reason.
  3. Because it looked so sad in the pet store.  A terrible reason, although good hearted.  If one pet looks sad in the store, and you buy it, don't you think the store will just replace it, thus continuing the cycle of sadness?  The only way to stop stores from exploiting animals, is to stop buying from them.  Additionally this shows little thought went into the decision for getting a pet.
  4. Because it is cool.  People who want "wolves" often fall into this category.  Teens who have self esteme issues often find themselves wanting an extreme exotic pet because it will make them "cool".   Pets are living things, they are not fashion accessories.
  5. Because I want to breed them and get rich.  Breeding pets will not make you rich unless you take a lot of short cuts with their care, and breed a lot of animals.  If profit is your main reason for owning a pet, it is a poor one.
  6. I need the pet to get me motivated.  Many people suffer from depression or loneliness.  A pet in their lives is motivation to get up, or to go for a walk.  While this seems like a selfish reason to own a pet, the owner in turn understands the true value of their companion, and will care for it deeply as a result of this bond. 
  7. I don't know why I own a pet, I just always have and never thought about it.  For some people pets are as much a part of life as breathing.  They are members of our family and share our lives.  It is so natural we do not give it any thought.  These people are generally good pet owners because they treat the pet with the same respect they would a family member.  
  8. My pet is a service animal, I love it, but it has a job to do also.  Like the owner in #6, this person will care for the pet out of respect for it helping them.  There are many kinds of service animals, from hearing-ear-dogs, to seeing-eye-ponies. 
  9. I own the pet because another family member dumped it on me.  A noble reason, and hopefully you will love it more than its previous owner did.  Most older pets cannot be rehomed so would be euthanized if a family member did not take it in.  Our parents may die leaving a pet behind, or our children may move out and not be able to take the pet with them, in these situations it is best for us to step up and care for that animal who was left behind for no reason of its own.
  10. I adopted my pet from an animal shelter to save its life.  The most compassionate reason of all.  The majority of pets in animal shelters do not get homes, particularly larger dogs and older cats.  If you can save one life won't make a big difference in the grand scheme of things, but it will make a HUGE difference to that pet, and will allow the shelter to try to save another in its place. 

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