When you get a pet, ensure that it is a decision made for the right reasons – do not get one on a fun whim, to follow a trend or to end the nagging from the children. The responsibility of being an animal owner extends over a long period of time as a dog can commonly reach 16 years of age and cats sometimes even longer – up to 20 years! On the other hands if you are ready and committed for the big task, the return is truly rewarding and the family will receive a wonderful addition!
Many people buy a dog or cat during longer holiday periods such as summer holidays and vacations. The COVID-19 outbreak has also led many people to work from home and this isolation has led many to seeking the companionship that only a pet can provide. In this situation, one should keep in mind that holidays and working from home will inevitably come to an end, yet the newly acquired pet will remain at home, alone and with the same needs as before.
Owning a cat or dog involves the following costs and requirements:
- Veterinary costs throughout the animal’s lifetime, such as vaccinations and dental care
- Pet insurance – insurance costs can vary so compare several insurance companies
- Food and medicine
- Equipment in the form of sleeping accommodation, care products, accessories, toys and more
- Caring for someone else to take care of your pet during the day, such as dog daycare
- Plan in advance how to solve care during holidays where the animal cannot come along. If the solution is an animal boarding house, that will be an additional expense.
- Time for home care in the form of hygiene, grooming and toothbrushing (animal dental health is just as important as it is for humans)
- Exercise in all weather conditions – every day, all year round
Movement, stimulus and enough space
Dogs are herd animals that have a basic need for company, so being left alone for several hours straight should be avoided while they also require resting periods several times a day. Some dog breeds also require more exercise and stimulation than others. These breeds may therefore be more unsuitable than others to have in a small area, such as in smaller apartments. Some cats may act like indoor cats, but not all, and consideration should be made before confining one to a life spent indoors.
Children and animals
Even small animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters require care and attention, a careful diet, accessories and veterinary care. It may seem easier to meet the children’s wishes in the form of a hamster, but its small size does not mean that it needs less care.
It is also very common for childrens’ interest fades when the pet grows up and is no longer the same little kitten or puppy that joined the family. A long-term benefit of owning a pet however is that children learn how to interpret their behaviours and the accompanying responsibilities of caring for a pet are shown to be useful for child development. The ultimate responsibility for the ownership and welfare of an animal though must always lie with an adult.
In general, most people feel very positive about spending time with their pets, as evidenced by studies conducted at schools, hospitals, nursing homes and prisons. At IVC Evidensia we of course firmly believe that animals are some of the best companions you could ever ask for with the company they provide, the benefits they offer (without them even knowing it!) and the unconditional love they give. They deserve all of this in return and their long, happy and healthy lives are the owner’s responsibility.
We have gathered some of the most important things you need to know before buying a cat or dog:
- Puppy’s health – tips and advice for a wonderful start to life
- Puppy inspection
- Kitten inspection
- Dental care for dogs and cats
- Dental school for dogs
- Dental school for cats
When you have decided to take the step to let a wonderful animal become a part of you and your family’s life, we are proud to support your journey together!