How many is too many? Finding your perfect pet number
How many pets is too many?
How many pets do you have? What is the maximum number you feel you would be able to care for? What if you had already reached your maximum number, but then found an animal in need? How do you decide how many pets is the right number for you?
For many pet owners, deciding how many animals to take into their care can be a difficult decision that takes into account many different factors. Animal rescuers, breeders, and regular pet owners alike all have a threshold. Some people can find caring for even one pet properly to be a challenge, while others take on numerous animals without much of a problem. How many pets you take into your care is a very individual decision.
So for pet owners who want to keep a lot of pets, how do you decide the perfect pet number for you? How do you make sure that you are a good pet owner, and don't cross the line over to becoming a hoarder? There is no perfect number of animals that's right for everyone. Each individual person has to take into account their situation and decide for themselves what they can handle.
It's important to first of all take your financial situation into account. Many people enjoy spending money on their pets, but it's important not to neglect buying yourself or your family things they need as well. Try to find a balance. It's okay to spend a lot of money on pet food and supplies, as long as you have enough to also buy the things you need to survive. It's important to prepare for emergencies and make sure that if/when your pet needs medical care that you will be able to afford it. The more pets you have, the more money you should set aside for emergencies. You should be able to afford to provide all your pets with the basic things they need for survival such as proper housing/caging, grooming, healthy food, and anything else your individual pet(s) may require. It isn't fair to take a new pet into your home if you know you are not going to be able to support that animal financially.
Another thing to take into account is space and location. If you live in a small apartment or home, then it probably isn't a good idea to take in a very large number of animals. Keeping too many pets in a small home can cause health problems for both the animals and the people living there. You should have room to give each animal the proper amount of space that it requires to live a normal and happy life. Also, look into the local laws as well as your landlords rules if you rent. Make sure you do not get more pets than your landlord or local pet ordinances allow. If you get caught with too many pets for where you are living, you may have to face dire consequences such as giving pets up or having to move.
Time is an important factor also and the one that seems the most often to get over looked. You need to make sure you have enough time to spend with each pet you own. Some species require more time and care than others, but they all need at least the amount of time it will take you to keep their environment clean, keep them well fed and watered, and make sure they are provided with the proper mental and physical exercise. The more animals you have, the more time you will have to set aside to give each of those animals the individual care it requires. Animals need physical and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. Even the most well cared for animal can become depressed and unhappy if it's not provided outlets for it's intelligence and energy.
There are many other factors that one should take into account before taking in a new pet, but those are the basics. Before getting each new pet, take the time to make sure that you are ready for it and can provide each one with the proper care. If you are the type of person who is prone to taking in animals often, sit down and decide how many animals you feel you can properly manage and try to stick with that number. You can always revise it later if your situation changes. Keeping pets can be fun and very rewarding, but it's important to stay within your limits.
I'd love to hear other people's comments about this topic! How many pets do you have and how did you decide what was the right number of pets for you?