Taking care of a pet takes commitment and dedication. It’s not an easy task, no matter how seamless it looks from cute pictures and videos of owners playing with their pets on social media. The hard work and less glamorous side of training, upkeep, and cleaning their waste are hidden from view, which can trick beginners. However, as owners become attached to their pets, all the challenges will be worth it. They’ll find themselves bringing their pets everywhere, whether it’s to relax at the park after a day’s work or serve as their companion during a dry eye and MGD treatment at their local eye clinic.
Owning a pet also has tremendous health benefits. They are known to improve a person’s mood and well-being because of their unconditional love. According to the respondents of the Human-Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI), 74% reported boosts to their mental health with some of their family and friends also benefiting from the therapeutic effects brought by the time spent with their pets.
No matter one’s reasons are of becoming a pet owner, the journey is guaranteed to be filled with lessons a person can’t get from anywhere else. Here are a few realizations they will come to understand:
Pets have their own personality
It’s incredible to think that pets have their own personality — complete with preferences, attitude, and disposition. They can be skittish and quiet, choosing to hang around at the corners and avoid other pets. But some are also hyperactive and friendly, jumping from animal to animal in the hopes of making new friends. Even if owners swear their pets exhibit personality, something commonly attributed to human beings, science was slow to accept the belief. After all, you can’t directly ask a cat or a dog what they’re feeling or thinking. Researchers can only make assumptions through observations and anecdotal data from pet owners. Thankfully, studies continue to show that animals, not only pets, also experience emotions and personality traits.
It’s like taking care of a child
Pets are called fur babies for a reason. Their cuteness and company come with a hefty bill in the form of food, playthings, check-ups, and grooming needs. According to the report made by the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), the lifetime cost of owning a dog falls in the range of $27,074 to $42,545. Having a cat might be less costly, but it will still set back owners from expenses amounting to $21,917 to $30,942. That doesn’t include the non-monetary investments of taking care of a pet. Owners need to spend time training their pets, from teaching them basic hygiene practices to exciting tricks. Household items are also at risk of being destroyed, especially when pets are still young. No couch, plant, or curtains are safe when they’re feeling playful and hyper.
Dogs and cats can get along
Contrary to the stereotype, cats and dogs are not born enemies. That is good news for owners who are torn between getting a dog and cat. The trick is not rushing the first introduction because it is the first step in building a friendship between the animals. During the first week, the dog and cat must stay separate, with introductions limited to sounds and smells. This practice helps in increasing their tolerance of each other, showing that they are not hostile beings. Visual introductions can follow until they feel comfortable with each other’s presence.
There’s no love truer between an owner and their pet. Their journey together is filled with care, realizations, and friendship.