What would our pets wish for?
Ioften think I’d love to come back as a well-loved cat or dog – they lead the life of Riley, don’t they! No work, no money worries, no family problems, food on their plate every day, doted on by their loving owners.
Of course, they don’t realise how good they have it.
If pets could make a New Year resolution list, it might look a little like this (with help from Animal Planet): 1. Take time to eat the roses. 2. Devote more time to quality napping. 3. Schedule more ‘‘me’’ time. 4. Eat more good books. 5. Have friends over more often. 6. Exercise more by going on unaccompanied walks.
7. Eat better (human food always looks so good on the kitchen bench).
8. Take up a hobby (digging holes or scratching the wallpaper).
9. Save more (old bones, socks, things found on the neighbour’s washing line).
10. Be healthier – go to the vet once a year if we must!
Pet owners could, of course, also have their own New Year resolution list for their pets. Maybe it would be a little more serious, but it is also more important.
Owning a pet is a choice and for pet owners to get out of a pet what they want, they have to put something into the relationship as well.
And it is a relationship. Good relationships require a bit of work.
1. Spend more time with your pets – they are excellent for stress relief.
2. Ensure they get the right amount of high-quality food.
3. Exercise them (mainly the dogs) and in doing so, exercise yourself.
4. Keep control of parasites with regular worm and flea treatment.
5. Maintain an orderly home with clear, consistent rules and boundaries.
6. Maintain your pet’s health with regular, scheduled vet check-ups.
7. Introduce your pet to new friends and neighbours.
8. Check that your pet’s ID or microchip details are up to date.
9. Be kind to your pet and you will be a kinder person.
10. Enjoy your pet. We have them simply for that joy.
Pet owners, in my opinion, are marvellous people. They care for an animal out of choice. It is a selfless act of generosity and empathy. So I wish all pet owners a happy 2015.
Dr Ian Schraa is the owner of Rappaw Veterinary Care.
Friends forever: Pets can provide years of fun for owners who cherish them.