Pets are domestic or tamed animal kept for companionship, protection or entertainment. Popular pets are cats, dogs, rabbits, birds, hamster, guinea pigs and etc. Some may have reptiles like lizards and snakes as pets.
Can I have a pet?
Having a pet does not only mean you own one. It also means you are responsible for its wellbeing. You must take care of its health, appearance, cleanliness and happiness. On top of everything else your own health and wellbeing is the most important thing. There are a few things you must consider when having a pet.
- Do you have any allergy or are you an asthmatic?
Allergens are things that causes allergy reactions. Pets harmless urine, saliva or dander are allergens and trigger asthmatic attack. Dander are tiny even microscopic flecks of skin shed by cats, dogs, rodents or animals with furs or feathers. Animal’s fur can collect dust mites, pollens and mold or other allergens. If you are sensitive to the animals you will develop sneezing or runny or stuffy nose, facial pain watery red, red or itchy eyes. Get advice from your doctor before you decide to have a living pet.
- Does the house, apartments, flats or environment you are staying in allow you to have pets?
Some housing does not allow pets. It may be because they wanted to ensure the cleanliness of the environment. It may also be out of respect to the other tenants who may not like or are allergic the animals you would want to choose as pets. So find out what is the ruling in your housing area.
- Do you have the time for them?
Take a look at your schedule. Ensure that you can spare time to feed and care for them.
- Does it cost a lot to take care of your pet? Can you afford them?
Some people are lucky to have the animal they love found at their door step. You might have to buy the animals you wish to keep as a pet. Maintaining your pet health and cleanliness may need you to buy specific products for them. If you really wish to have one you must have good self discipline to put aside some money for this or you may ask your parents assistance.
- Get enough information about the animal you would like to have as a pet.
Pets are living things. They have the same need as any other living things. They need to be fed, cleaned and need your attention. Find out from the pet shop or from the internet if the pet you chose need special food or environment. They may need to have some immunization and regular deworming. Some cats can be a source of infection for example toxoplasmosis when your food or water get contaminated with the feces of infected cats.
- Get permission from your parents.
Your parents must know of your activities. They might be able to assist you in your intention to have a pet
- Choose the correct pet
Exotic, aggressive and unusual animals may be difficult to care for.
- Your safety always come first
Some animals are friendly but will attack you if they feel threatened. It can occur even with your domestic cats or dogs or even the little hamster. Always ensure your safety in all situation. Get medical attention if you get scratched or bitten by your pets.
Is having pets good for you?
- Pets can be good companion and friend.
Some adolescent talk to pets. You can be rest assured that your secrets are safe and they are never judgmental! For adolescents who have not many friends, having pets can fulfil your social needs.
One study concluded that some children get more satisfaction from relationship with their pets than with their siblings. (Journal of applied developmental psychology).
- The positive feelings that you have towards your pet will boost your self esteem and self confidence
- Caring for a pet can inculcate a good sense of responsibility. Doing your daily chores in taking care for your pet can develop you into becoming a responsible person.
- Teach you about life.
Animals like any other living things need partner, breed and die. This is very natural and this is a learning experience.
- Increase your physical activity
Dog ownership has been linked to increased physical activity among adolescent. When you walk your dog daily and the active play you have keep you physically active
- In caring for a pet you experience love, affection, loyalty and it teaches you how to respect for other living things.
Having pets can be fun. There is more life, happiness and companionship in having pets than spending times electronic games. Be a happy and smart adolescent!
- Children and Pets: a winning combination. Psychiatric Times. Website:psychiatrictimes.com
- American academy of child and adolescent psychiatry. Pets and Children Web: aacap.org
- Pets..not siblings..are child’s best friends, researchers find. Web: sciencedaily.com
|Last Reviewed||:||25 June 2018|
|Writer||:||Dr. Salmah Bt. Nordin|
|Accreditor||:||Dr. Siti Aishah Bt. Saidin|