„Mommy, please can we have a dog?” „Daddy, will you get me a little cat, please?” As a small child you have asked these question in hopes of getting a barking or meowing partner to love, to care for and to play with. Unfortunately, you haven’t convinced your parents to fulfill your dream. But now, you are a grown up and your old wish has never completely perished. So you go „hunting” for your dream animal friend. But, whether you want a dog, a cat, a parrot, a hamster, a turtle, a snake or whatever else you dreamed of, you have to give serious consideration to your motives and your possibilities of having an animal.
For the motives, make sure that you want an animal for its sake, so that you have with you a friend that won’t ask questions, but only gives love, not because it’s fashionable or trendy, or because your best friend has one. You have to know yourself very well before you make this commitment: you have to be convinced that you will love it and care for it, no matter what, „in sickness and in health”, in your free time and no time. If there is the slightest chance that you will get bored with it and forget about it or worse start hitting it so it won’t be in your way or abandoning it, then forget the whole idea. An animal isn’t a stuffed toy, it has needs and desires, and it has a soul of its own, it is capable of suffering just like us or even more.
If the love and desire are for real and you are determined, then ask yourself two more questions.
Do I have the time to have a pet? In our crazed time society, this is a real issue. Whatever your plans are, for an animal you have to make time: you have to take a dog out 3-4 days a day, you have to buy it food or to cook it food, you have to clean up after them, you have to pet them, you have to talk to them, you have to take care of them when they are sick, you have to give them their medication in time. One more thing: you have to remember them when you go in vacations – you either take them with you or make arrangements for a friend to take good care of them or for them to stay in a sheltered and caring place. So think it over and then again: do you have time for a pet?
Can I afford to have a pet? As we, animals can’t live on air and water and they need different objects and accessories. So you have to buy it food, a leash, sand, saw dust, cage, aquarium, even toys. You have to protect them against parasites with different substances and when it gets sick – and they will quite often, unfortunately, you have to take them to the vet, buy them medicines.
If you have made a list with pros and cons for getting a pet, and the final answer is yes and you are really happy with it, then go ahead and buy yourself a pet. Together with all the responsibilities it brings you, it will also bring you a lot of joy. Just imagine coming home after a long day at work and your cat jumps into your arms, purring happily and giving you a welcome kiss with its furry little nose. Or your dog welcomes you, barking happily at your feet, giving you a big wet kiss, while looking at you with his puppy eyes. Or your fish dance gracefully in their aquarium allowing you to relax and de-stress.
So, did you want a pet as a child? Do you still want one now?