Are you ready for a pet?

On an average 600,000 pets are adopted every year in India, but sadly a lot of them are thrown back to the shelter homes.Its fun to cuddle and play with them. It also feels humane and righteous to feed the strays.Time and again we have an urge to get a pet home. Discussion about getting a pet is common in Indian household these days.

But are you really ready for a pet? Most of us decide to get a pet for all the wrong reasons, because they are cute and the idea of having a pet is fun. Just because we are lonely and going through a bad phase of life. The worst is the idea of gifting a pet to someone.

Getting a pet might not sound like one of your biggest decisions of your life but it surely is. Average life of a cat or a dog is a minimum of 7 to 10 years, which means getting a pet is a commitment of almost a decade of your life.

In most cases where pets are abandoned it is seen that only one of or two family members were interested in having a pet whilst the other family members were against it hence the care and managing a pet becomes an issue and finally the family decides to letting go of the pet.

In other cases people tend to get a pet when feeling depressed or going through a bad phase in life. Undoubtedly pets have proven to help with depression and will surely make us feel better but in most cases it has been seen that once life changes for the better pets are not given priority and are treated like liabilities to finally being given away.

Keeping a pet is not cheap.As cliche as it may sound keeping a pet is an expensive affair. Its not a one time investment. From vaccinations to pet food everything has to be accounted for. Himanshu Sharma owner of a Labrador says” I end up spending a minimum of Rs.5000 per month on his maintenance.”A lot of pets are also abandoned because the owner cant afford their maintenance.

Size of your house also plays an important role in the decision making of having a pet. Inclination for certain large breeds of dogs results in chaotic households and is unfair to the pet as well. Such breeds need a lot of space and exercise to be healthy.

Initial excitement of a pet makes us spend a lot of time with our pets but eventually as times passes by it gets difficult for us to spend time with our pets. One also needs to consider the amount of time one has to spend with the pet otherwise the pet ends up feeling neglected and develops behavioural issues.

A lot of dogs are adopted from animal shelters but because they have behavioural or adjustment issues they are sent back or abandoned again. When adopting from an animal shelter one needs to consider that the dog may or may not be physically or mentally stable and it is your job to work and fix these issues. It is important to get all the information about the pet and decide if you can make that consistent effort towards the pet. Only then should someone adopt the pet.

Being a pet parent is blissful but it comes with a lot of responsibility.So before you think you are ready for a pet you should consider if you are ready to give years of care, commitment and time.It is also important that all of your family members are ready for it and that you can afford to keep one.

By Swati Tandon