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Responsibilities of a Pet Owner: Things To Consider Before Getting a Pet

Updated on January 18, 2016
Cat and dog
Cat and dog

Getting a pet, be it a dog, cat, bird, fish or whatever, is a lifetime commitment just like having children, and it entails certain responsibilities that should be taken seriously. Before you bring that cute little dog or cat into your house, it might be a good idea to ask yourself the following questions to avoid disillusionment on your part and on your pet's part:

Can you commit?

You have to remember that animals are living, breathing, feeling creatures, not toys that you can just throw away when you get tired of them. Animals, if kept healthy, can live for a long period of time. The average life span of an indoor cat, for example, is 15-18 years. Small dogs can live for 14-15 years. That's longer than most marriages nowadays.

Do you have the budget?

Raising a pet requires money. Pet food and veterinary visits alone could put a considerable hole in your wallet. Then of course, you'll be wanting to buy pet supplies and accessories for your "babies"...

Can you allocate time?

And just like babies, pets need your time, attention, and patience. Dogs need to be walked and exercised regularly. Cat litter boxes need to be scooped regularly. Fish tanks need to be scrubbed regularly. Dogs and cats will need to be house-trained. You get the picture. But most importantly, your pets need your love. If you don't love them, what's the point of bringing them into your house?

Does your house have enough space?

Indoor animals live longer because they don't get exposed to the hazards of the outside world such as traffic, fights with other animals, or diseases that they could contract while prowling. But if you're planning to bring a large animal into your house, you may want to consider if there will be enough space for it to run and play around in. If you're planning to keep your pet outdoors, it would also be a good idea to make sure that there's a fence to keep them from wandering out into the street.

Are there other people living with you?

This won't matter if you live alone, but if there are other people living in your house with you, you might want to consider how they would react to having a pet. Housemates with allergies to animals may be a potential problem. Small children in the house may be another as I have seen some animals get man-handled by children who seem to think of them as toys. You wouldn't want your pet to suffer now, would you?

All in all, getting a pet needs planning and preparation. And something so important that I will repeat it in bold letters: LOVE.

Happy cat, dog, and bird
Happy cat, dog, and bird


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    • afriqnet profile image

      Joe Njenga 5 years ago from Nairobi Kenya

      Awesome hub that summarizes what people who want to be pet owners for the first time should consider. I think this should be a good guide for would be pet owners as well as seasoned pet owners.

    • Pro Pet First Aid profile image

      Pro Pet First Aid 6 years ago from Essex UK

      All good advice, Pets need a lot of care and good choice before is vital. You can learn so much before you get your pet to make sure you made the right choice. Talk to vets as well they are usually very helpful.

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      Alexandra Maricle  7 years ago

      This is cool I like this vido a lot it helps me understand how to take care of a pet.

    • Susan Ng profile image

      Susan Ng Yu 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Haha! When was the last time you fed that poor little fish of yours? Hehe. ;P What kind of tropical fish is it? My sister has some Koi and an Arwana among other types of fish. The Arwana is in a separate tank with several small fishes that are meant to be his food. I can only imagine the perpetual terror of those small fishes. :O Thank God I'm a human being! Hehe... :)

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      TattoGuy 7 years ago

      You have just reminded me to feed my tropical fish ; )