As in parenthood, pet owners have inherent responsibilities. Having a dog, a cat, or any other animal is a privilege that can bring joy to our life. However, it takes commitment and responsibility.
Science has shown the positive impact that pets have on human lives. They can, for example, lower blood pressure in elderly people, reduce symptoms of depression and prevent social isolation. But it isn’t enough that the relationship benefits the human. It must benefit the animals, themselves.
Other recent studies have shown a growing tendency for pet owners to think of their pets as family members. What these studies are really saying is that owners are becoming more responsible.
What is a responsible pet owner?
The human that does everything in his/her power to secure a pet’s well-being, as well as that of those they relate with – be they humans, other pets of the same species and other species as well.
Selecting a pet that suits you
It’s important to start out by identifying which pet is better suited to each one’s lifestyle and housing. Different animals have different needs. Some need more attention, others are more independent. Some are lap animals, others demand physical exercise. Some are easier to train than others. Some have longer lives than others. Therefore, people should avoid making decisions regarding pet adoption by impulse and really put some thought into whether or not their own conditions are able to satisfy the pet’s needs.
How many pets?
The decision to own one or many pets requires serious a special kind of long-term commitment. Pet owners must take into consideration additional feeding, water, shelter, health, well-being and companionship for the entirety of each pet’s life. All pets require investments in time and money. It’s not enough to guarantee preventive health care like vaccination, parasite control and so on; sometimes disease or accidents may occur which, besides adding costs, can require a lot of dedication.
Good behavior for a good life
It’s important to socialize and train the pets correctly so that they can safely safely with people and other pets, inside as well as outside the house. Besides promoting good behavior in the pet, training reinforces the bond with people, thus promoting everyone’s well-being. Avoiding abnormal behavior like aggression is an obligation for every pet owner.
Being socially responsible
Another of the owner’s responsibilities is following social and legal laws regarding pet ownership. From collecting poop in public spaces to identification and registry or complying with leash and muzzle laws in dogs, noise control, etc.
A better future
The growing number of pets in homes allows suggests a much brighter future and a harmonious and healthier relationship between people and pets.
Credit: Instituto do Animal