To have or Not to have: How Many Pets should an Owner own?

Many potential pet owners think that owning a puppy is cute — or that having a puppy is all fun and games; when in fact, puppies grow up to be sometimes very big dogs. All pets, whether it be a cat, a dog, a ferret or a bird, animals need lots of love, undivided attention, continuous maintenance, healthcare, and training.

Canis Familiaris – also known as the common and tamed family dog, is quite the remarkable creature. Down to his furry coat (and in some cases, not-so-furry coats), his adoring eyes, white dagger teeth, four stubby paws and tail; dogs have long known to be man’s best friend. It is, in fact, this reason, why I am continually adopting “rescue mutts,” and puppies who need a good home. Just the other day, I made the mistake of shopping in a local natural pet supply shop. Not a large store, (about the size of a Dollar General), I strode inside. With merely the intention of purchasing natural dog food for the other five dogs that reside with me, I happened to pass by a small enclosure at the very front of the store. Inside the pen were 6 butterball-sized pups. Only 6 weeks old, they had the charm of a panda bear and the personality to match. Peering over the litter, I saw a small sign that the store owner had erected describing the age, litter parents and information about their shots, etc. Of course, what made matters worse was the fact that my 13-year old daughter had tagged along and had fallen in love with the huddled brood. There, in the midst of the slumbering pups, was one in particular that we took to immediately. A white dog with black cow markings — both halves of his face were black with a white streak down the middle. And in the center of his forehead was a distinct, black ink blot. On his pudgy back was a long and wide, ebony patch that indented in areas. He lay there, grunting as he snored; and was simply adorable.Now, my first thought was to head to the other side of the store, away from these incredibly cute pups. However, my heart melted at the site of them. Making certain that my husband and children were in complete agreement (as dogs are a BIG responsibility), we decided to add yet another new member to our very-growing family. With a long and satisfied sigh, my daughter retrieved the pup who was later to be named “Thor.” A rottweiller/bluetick hound/lab mix that was positively irresistable, was officially adopted and a permanent family member. When we brought “Thor” home, our gamut of dogs came running to see their newest “brother.” Sniffing him from head to toe, our Chinese Sharpeis, our rottweiller-shepherd dogs, and our rottweiller-doberman dog all welcomed “Thor” with remarkable acceptance. Having had him in the house now for just two days, Thor has adapted well to his new surroundings and family. He is a quick learner and follows the lead of the rest of our pack when it comes to house training, and eating routines. Play is always abundant as the other dogs, myself, and my other family members are always at Thor’s and our other “childrens” disposal. This doesn’t go without saying that all of our pets are neutered or spayed, receive all of their necessary vaccinations, routine heartworm medication, flea & tick treatments, weekly baths, monthly nail trims and deworming meds. Each week, our pets eat an average of 50lbs of natural dog food, (and of course people-food for treats), have a very large, enclosed yard to run and play in, our house to slumber in, and individual collars, leashes, pet toys and food bowls. Not only this, their toys are always stored in a box where they can retrieve them at will.

Many potential pet owners think that owning a puppy is cute — or that having a puppy is all fun and games; when in fact, puppies grow up to be sometimes very big dogs. All pets, whether it be a cat, a dog, a ferret or a bird, animals need lots of love, undivided attention, continuous maintenance, healthcare, and training. Futhermore, if more than one pet is owned, it is vital that good pet owners spay or neuter their animals to keep the pet population down. Adequate shelter, sufficient food and health maintenance is crucial to our furry friends. If you’re like me, your heart sinks like a rock when you see lovable, huggable puppies. The key to being a good pet owner is knowing your limits — financially, mentally, emotionally, and physically. If you’re going to own pets, you have to be financially responsible for them. You must also realize that pets demand and need a lot of your patience, understanding, love and attention. Getting back to “Thor –” I have ultimately decided that Thor was to be the last of our doggie-adoptions. With each dog having his or her own buddy now, we are whole and complete. The animals in our lives are essential to our minds, hearts, and souls — and in closing, my hope is that each pet (globally) who becomes adopted has the equal opportunity to have a happy, healthy and loving home as well.

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