A Pet Owner's Pledge
by Karen Peak
West Wind Dog Training
I promise not to get a pet – any
species – until I am completely ready to accept the responsibility.
I promise never to give a pet as a gift.
I promise if I get a pet for my
children, that I will be the primary caregiver as most children are not ready for the full responsibility of a life.
I promise not to get a pet based on
what I see in the movies or television. This may not be an accurate portrayal.
I promise to research not only the
type of pet I am considering, but also the source of my pet.
I promise to purchase all materials
required for this pet before it actually joins my home.
I promise to understand all aspects of the pet's care before I bring it home.
I promise to learn the medical problems common to my pet and even ones not.
I promise to find a veterinarian
who works with the species I am considering – before the pet comes home and/or a medical emergency arises.
I promise to have my pet visit the
veterinarian within two days or less of coming home.
I promise to ensure my pet will not
have the opportunity to have or sire unwanted litters. Nor will I put my pet through the strain of having a litter just because I think it would be a neat thing to do. If I want my family to witness birth, I will
rent a videotape.
I promise to properly train and
socialize my new pet – even if it is a pet who lives in a cage. All pets need to learn good manners.
I promise to feed only quality foods and healthy snacks.
I promise to spend enough time with the pet and understand fully its social needs.
I promise to supply my pet with
activities and toys to enrich life and not let my pet languish in boredom.
I promise not to let my pet become
a neighborhood nuisance with noise, running loose, smells, etc.
I promise to have proper identification on my pet.
I promise to seek medical advice
when I suspect a problem and not wait days to see if it gets worse.
I promise to learn the warning
signs of a potential medical emergency so I am not caught of guard.
I promise to make sure I can afford
medical care for my pet – even when unsuspected or sudden.
I promise to contact specialists to
help me with training and behavior and not wait for a problem to result in tragedy before I take action.
I promise to devote myself to the
life of my pet - be the lifespan a few years or many decades.
I promise not to put a new
relationship above my relationship with my pet. If my new love interest does not like my pet, is he/she the right person for me?
I promise to prepare my pet well in
advance for any children that may come into the union.
I promise my pet will always be part of my family.
I promise to make provisions should my pet outlast me.
I promise to help my pet age
gracefully and not abandon my pet when "usefulness" wanes with time.
I promise to understand that with
aging comes more medical concerns. I will address each one and make my pet's golden years comfortable.
I promise when the time comes and I
know in my heart that the quality of life is not what it was and my pet is holding on only because I am the selfish one, I will let my pet pass peacefully across the Rainbow Bridge and my arms will be the last
comfort until we are one day reunited.
To this my pet, present or future, I pledge.