Before You Get a Pet, Think About The Responsibility First

096How could anyone resist a cute ball of fur? It is certainly exciting to welcome a new family member in the household. Pet-friendly establishments are fast-rising and pets are becoming more visible, enticing families to adopt a furry friend. They are loving, loyal and fun – all the qualities every person wants to have for a buddy. But are YOU or your family ready to have one?

Experts agree that an in-depth lifestyle check is helpful for future pet owners in the long run. With the aim of chuampioning the value of responsible pet ownership through the Well Fed, Well Nurtured campaign, the Pet Food Institute and the Veterinary Practitioners Association of the Philippines pose some questions future pet owners should ponder on before keeping a pet.

What is the best kind of pet for me?

Lifestyle and budget are key factors to determine the right kind of pet.  A consultation with veterinarians or other pet owners can help you identify the breed you would want to own. Different cat and dog breeds can have different physiques, typical behaviors, eating habits and grooming needs.

For instance, bigger breeds need bigger caloric intake and lots of exercise than smaller breeds. Short haired breeds such as Beagles and Siamese take less time to groom than long-haired breeds like Terriers and Ragdolls. Kittens and puppies are good options for beginner pet owners but you can also consider senior pets. Senior cats and dogs are just as loving as younger pets, and can do well with quieter homes especially to an elderly household. They are calm, composed and are wonderful companions. To future pet owners who have a tight budget and limited time to raise a puppy or kitten, a housebroken and trained adult pet is a good candidate.

As a responsible pet owner, it is vital that you are able to supply the proper lifestyle that satisfies the needs of your pet. 

Do I have the time to take care of the pet?

A good relationship is the foundation of a solid pet-owner bond. Pets need attention and comfort from their owners to be happy. Your pet must not feel neglected. Of course, there might be times when pet owners have to attend to other matters. If you’re going to be away for a long time, entrusting your pets to the most trusted pet hotel, kennel or a pet sitter are good options.

What will be my family’s reaction?

Take time to sit down with family members and discuss any personal or medical concerns before taking the big leap. Identifying these issues can narrow down the options in selecting the right kind of pet.  A thorough discussion on who will be the pet’s primary caretaker in the family is important to ensuring the pet receives proper care.

What will be the expenses?

By the time your four-legged friend comes into the doorstep, it’s time to stretch the budget. Pets’ food and hygiene essentials will be added to the grocery list, and pet accessories like harnesses, leashes and collars will need to be replaces over time.  A new pet should be taken to a veterinarian for a checkup soon after joining the family.  Vaccinations, tests, and basic health exams happen annually or as per veterinarian’s instructions. Legal requirements such as city pet registration should be covered by the period of adoption.

When it comes to wise spending, products and edibles like treats and pet foods made from wholesome ingredients are contributory to the pet’s health. Unbeknownst to many future pet owners, table scraps and homemade pet foods can only give inadequate amounts of vitamins and minerals pets need.  It’s best to purchase complete and balanced commercial pet foods that are scientifically formulated which support the pet’s good health well-being. It is also an excellent investment because with a well-fed pet will avoid health problems caused by poor nutrition, which, in turn, lessens extra expenses such as pet medications and treatments.

PFI and VPAP’s Well Fed, Well Nurtured campaign aims to raise awareness on proper nutrition and veterinary care as vital elements in responsible pet ownership. As the trade association of the US pet food industry, PFI encourages pet owners, old and new, to take pet nutrition forward by providing pet foods that are healthy and safe.

About the Pet Food Institute

PFI is the voice of the U.S. pet food industry and represents the companies that make 98% of U.S. pet food.  PFI is the industry’s public education and media relations resource, representative before the U.S. Congress and state and federal agencies, organizer of seminars and educational programs, and liaison with other organizations. PFI represents the companies that make 98 percent of U.S. dog and cat food. PFI is dedicated to promoting the overall care and well-being of pets, and supporting initiatives to advance the quality nutrition for dogs and cats. For more information on PFI and proper pet nutrition, visit www.petfoodinstitute.org.

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