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Responsible Pet Ownership

Owning pets can be a lot of fun! Pets can provide us with companionship and unconditional love. Pet ownership also teaches children responsibility, and helps them develop their social and nurturing skills. Owning a pet involves much more than just providing water, food and shelter. Responsible pet ownership also includes choosing the right pet for your lifestyle, complying with the law, caring for your pet’s health and ensuring your pet doesn’t cause problems in the community.

Demonstrating responsibility starts with choosing a pet that fits your lifestyle. For instance, don’t get an extremely energetic dog if you don’t have the time, space or resources to properly exercise or entertain it. Moreover if you can’t afford grooming or can’t do the grooming yourself, pick a low maintenance dog.

At times it seems difficult to resist that oh-so-cute exotic pet at the store. However, the importance of researching and preparing ahead of time for a new pet cannot be overstated. If you are thinking of getting an exotic pet, there are many factors you must consider before deciding. You will have a much happier time with your pet if you choose one that meshes well with your lifestyle and needs.

When considering an exotic pet, it is wise to consider the following in advance:
Have you located a veterinarian that is able to treat that specific pet?
Are you familiar/well versed on how to handle the pet at home? For example, the appetite or feeding drive for some large constricting snakes is so strong that even tame snakes sometimes instinctively start constricting when something triggers a predatory response.
Are you aware that some animals, like those that are traditionally wild (such as Lions and Cheetahs) can be unpredictable and difficult to handle so they do not make good pets?
How prepared are you in terms of dietary requirements and exercise? For instance, Ferrets love to explore and play outside of their cages under supervision.

Pets are dependent on their owners for their welfare. Whether it is exotic or not, owning a pet is a lifetime commitment. A good rule of thumb is, if you can’t make the commitment, don’t get the pet.

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