What to Consider Before Adopting a Pet
Adopting an animal or owning a pet is a great responsibility
What to Consider Before Adopting a Pet
Adopting an animal or owning a pet is a great responsibility as it is a commitment one needs to have for the entire lifetime of the animal. Remember that to you it is only a pet. But to him or her, you are everything.
CATS AND DOGS
- Prospective owners should preferably have at least some knowledge about animals.
- Pet owners-to-be must satisfy the Society that they will provide suitable homes for the animals and look after them to the best of their ability.
- Be sure that all members of the family in your household are agreeable to the adoption. We would advise that you bring them to the shelter to meet the animal before finalizing the adoption.
- Check that you are allowed to have a pet in your home (check our article on this).
- Owning a pet is fun and it can bring you a lot of joy. They need the love and attention that people like you can give. Think carefully before you adopt an animal and ask yourself these 3 questions:
- DO I HAVE THE TIME?
- DO I HAVE THE SPACE?
- DO I HAVE THE MEANS?
- Do any family members suffer from asthma or allergies? Be sure no one had allergies towards fur and animals. If you’re not sure, take the time to let your family members mix with animals, maybe at a friend’s house first before considering it. Some kinds of pets are considered hypoallergenic and could be a good fit for the family.
- Upon adoption, an adoption agreement must be signed.
- The SPCA Penang reserves the right to refuse any application for adoption.
- In cases of illness or injury etc., the owner must provide veterinary treatment for his/her pet.
- The SPCA has the right to visit the premises of the pet owner. This is to ensure that the animal is happily settled.
- The SPCA has the right to repossess the animal if, in the Society’s opinion, the Agreement is not reasonably adhered to.
Please think carefully before you adopt an animal. Their life is in your hands. It is you who makes the difference.
Be Kind to Animals!!
A Guide for New Pet Owners
Pets make good companions for people, as they are intelligent, playful and fun. However, this mutually benefiting relationship takes up time and energy as pets can be expensive to look after and they need space. A dog is not a good pet in busy households or for owners who are out all day. Cats are more tolerant of being left alone. Having a pet is a long tem commitment and pet owners must understand that their pet can live up to 10 years or more. Owning a pet is a lot of fun and it can bring a lot of joy to the owner, but it helps if prospective owners have some knowledge about the animals that they are going to keep.
This depends on the size of the pet, but usually 12-14 years.
All pets should be alert and responsive. A pet’s temperament depends on its upbringing and environment; it is a product of its home life, handling, socialization and heredity. Dogs can be aggressive towards strangers; therefore control must be exercised when a strange dog meets unfamiliar people. To reduce a dog’s human-aggressive trait, walks and other socializing activities should be carried out.
A dog is a pack animal and will be upset if left on its own for long periods of time. Different breeds have different temperaments and abilities, but all dogs need the company and attention of their owners. Basic training is important and puppies should be house trained and given behavioural training from 8 weeks of age. Formal training should begin at three to four months. Cats do need companionship and love. Litter tray training is usually quite simple and cats learn to use the tray quite quickly.
Lift a puppy by scooping it up gently with one hand under its chest. Lift a dog by standing sideways to it and taking its weight at the chest and hindquarters. Dogs may bite when surprised or when teased so they need to be handled gently. There are also some dogs that, as a result of bad experience, behave unnaturally or even bite in fear, or due to pain. Anyone who adopts an adult dog should first get some information on the dog’s background and peculiarities.
Thousands of unwanted puppies and kittens are born every year and the SPCA strongly advises that pets be neutered to stop them from reproducing. Neutering (check our article) is a simple operation that can be arranged through a veterinarian. The operation is done under general anesthesia and it is a simple, safe procedure, from which the pets recover quickly. The neutered pet also has the added benefit of lowered risk of suffering from uterine infections, mammary tumours. Female dogs that have not been neutered come into season up to twice a year and they can have up to 12 puppies in each litter. Female cats come into season three times a year. Puppies and kittens should stay with their mother until they are at least 8 weeks old.
Puppies and kittens must be vaccinated against certain serious diseases and given regular boosters throughout their lives. Your veterinary surgeon will be able to advise you on this. Many pets suffer from external parasites such as mites or ticks or internal parasites such as worms. Treatments for these conditions are available from your veterinarian. A good diet and exercise is also important for proper growth and maintenance of the pet at its optimum weight. Generally if you have any concerns about your pet’s health, ask your veterinarian for advice. So, if you want to own a pet, you need:
- Commitment – a pet’s life is likely to last 10 years or even longer.
- Space – you have your work, friends and other commitments but your pet only has you. Don’t tie or cage your pet the whole day. Pets need exercise. Leash your dogs when they are out with you.
- Budget – provide your dogs with adequate food and you should take them for annual visits to the veterinarian.
- Welfare – dogs and cats don’t need to reproduce and unwanted litters are a nuisance to the community. You should avoid dumping dogs or cats (link to our article).
- Time – Care for your pet. Talk to your pets, even though they don’t understand your words, they know your voice when you speak to them. Make sure you give them time to understand what you want from them.
- Be Aware – Before you scold pets for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering them. Perhaps they are not getting the right food, or they are unwell.
- Companionship – No matter how busy you are, your pets need a little of your time, company, love and attention.
- Consideration – Never let your dog or cat be a nuisance to your neighbours. Never let them foul in public places.
- Observation – It is the law that dogs should have a collar and leash with identification when they are in public places.
- Be Humane – When your pet is sick or pain, do not leave it to suffer and die from starvation or disease. Take it to the veterinarian if it is ill.
Important Advise to Pet Owners
Animals have as much right to live as we do. Have respect for them and give them these 5 freedoms (check our article). They should be entitled to:
- Freedom from hunger and thirst – enough good food and water to keep them healthy.
- Freedom from discomfort – comfortable cages or resting areas.
- Freedom from pain, injury and disease – rapid veterinary treatment if they are ill.
- Freedom to express normal behaviour – so they have enough space and company.
- Freedom from fear and distress – treatment that avoids mental suffering.
Before getting a dog or a cat as a pet, you should ask yourself:
- Do I have the time?
- Do I have the space?
- Do I have the means?