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Bringing home a pet: Not an impulsive affair

Not everyone is cut out to be a pet parent, so it’s advisable to conduct proper research and see which breed might suit your lifestyle

Published: 10th July 2019 06:22 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th July 2019 06:22 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Being closely involved in rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming of dogs for the past six to seven years, one thing we have noticed is that not much thought or preparation goes into the decision of bringing home a pet. Mostly, it is an emotional or impulsive decision after seeing a cute pet with a neighbour, friend or in an advertisement. The results in such cases have been catastrophic for both the unfortunate pet and the family. 

Not everyone is cut out to be a pet parent, more so when such decisions are taken with half-baked homework or no research. Also, a particular dog who is perfect for your friend might really not be the best match for you. The demand for a pug skyrocketed after the Vodafone ad a few years ago. And to show how it was just aesthetically driven, people were not even aware of the breed name (forget about the temperament or history or challenges of the breed), asking only for the ‘Vodafone dog’.

When we talk to people wanting to adopt, we keep reiterating that one should always focus on the temperament of the dog and how compatible that dog is to one’s lifestyle, rather than just age, gender and breed. You need to take into consideration multiple factors before getting home a pet and only a practical, well-thought decision will help you make the right choice.

People blindly go for adorable pups who are a lot of work and it is then that families realise the incessant cycle of pee-poop and 24/7 attention that is needed. That’s when they simply dump the poor soul without a second thought. When these cute pups cross ‘puppyhood’ and become big in size around six months of age, they are abandoned. How a pup grows into a dog depends on the humans and in most cases, ignorance on their part results in bad-tempered adult dogs who get labelled as ‘untrainable, aggressive’.

Suppose you are a working couple who is generally out of home for long hours. Think and reflect why you should really get a pet. It is a living being who not only needs to be fed and walked but also needs human interaction. They crave for company and 10 hours is like eternity for them. And with your work and commute hours, will you really be doing justice to the pet and yourself? Ask yourself.

In case you still want one, please opt for an older and low-energy dog. A pup who needs 24/7 care or a very young high energy dog is definitely not the right choice in this scenario. An older, calmer dog is definitely a better option. Remember to carve out time from your schedule to give them extra amount of walks before leaving them alone.

Families with infants or elders or even first-timer pet parents should not ideally opt for pups. They need constant attention and a first-timer might not be equipped to train a pup acceptable behaviour. Also if you have elderly people or infants at home, a high energy dog/pup who needs constant care might not be the right match. (The author is an animal lover)

Invest time before getting home a pet
When you get home a pet, be patient. It’s confusing and scary for the pet too, as it has been suddenly relocated among new people in an unfamiliar surrounding. Give them time to settle down and you will see how easy things become in a few weeks’ time.



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