Boyle McCauley News

Since 1979 • June-July 2023 • Circulation 5000

Pets and Responsibility

While I do not own any pets myself, I enjoy visiting the four-legged, furry family members of my friends. I like both cats and dogs, and although I am glad I am not responsible for their daily care (particularly having to clean up after them), I think I have learned a thing or two about responsible pet ownership enough to offer a little friendly advice..

If you are thinking about getting a pet, please consider all of the implications, both for your sake and the sake of the animal. Make sure you have enough time to spend with it. Ensure you have the financial resources to provide for its care (those emergency visits to the vet can get mighty expensive). Take into consideration the size of your home and the needs of others who live there, such as if anyone has allergies.

At the same time, there are people who don’t always make the best decisions concerning their pets, either out of ignorance or misguided teachings that they picked up. For example, there is a belief that a female cat or dog will be healthier if it is fixed after it has had a litter. In fact, just the opposite is true, which I learned after surfing some veterinary websites – spaying the animal early in life (before the first heat, if possible) can actually reduce the risk of some forms of cancer.

Finally, and I really don’t mean to intentionally sound like Bob Barker, get your pet spayed or neutered. Animal shelters are filled to capacity with puppies and kittens desperate for good homes. There is no compelling reason to want to fill the world with more unwanted animals. Just look at the stray cats who often roam the streets of McCauley.

Enjoy and love your pets – and be responsible owners.

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