Pet ownership is growing by 2% per year in the EU, where currently 90 million dogs and 110 million cats are kept as pets. Despite rising numbers, pet owners might not always be informed about all the elements of pet ownership. A well-informed and responsible owner is key to responsibly acquire and accommodate an animal. This does not only benefit the health and welfare of the animal, but also the human-animal relationship.
Responsible ownership means an owner needs to be informed and trained well-enough to understand and meet the animal’s physical, biological, and emotional needs. A responsible owner ensures his/her pet has a good quality of life. Owners need to understand, before getting a pet, that they will need to care for it for the rest of its lifespan. Taking care of an animal includes spending resources on food, veterinary care, enrichment and other items.
There are several factors to consider before deciding to bring a pet into one’s home. For instance, the future owner should look at his/her emotional readiness, type of lifestyle, time availability, space allowance and financial situation. All these factors should influence not only if someone gets a pet, but also what pet someone should get. Please visit this page if you are unsure about your decision and want to find out if you are ready to welcome a companion animal into your home and whether you can actually afford to acquire and responsibly care for a pet.
It is also important to consider the life expectancy of a companion animal, which spans from 12-14 years for cats and 7-12 years for dogs. If you are considering acquiring an animal of a certain breed, you need to consider the breed-specific needs, including proneness to genetic health problems, energy levels and character traits, need for outdoor living and suitable outlets for expressing natural behaviors.
Are you unsure about whether you are ready for a pet? Have a look at the checklists for getting a pet/a dog/a cat below!
Are you ready for a pet? Consult this checklist to find out more.
Are you ready for a dog? Consult this checklist to find out more.
Are you ready for a cat? Consult this checklist to find out more.