A dog or cat can bring out the best in a man if you allow it to. This usually happens because the dogs and cats give us unconditional love.
We have seen pets that remain loyal to their owners even if they are maltreated, un-groomed and poorly fed.
A pet’s devotion can actually change the way a man thinks and acts. I know of men who think they are tough guys incapable of tenderness, yet they bare a softer side the moment they talk (sometimes you even hear them do “baby talk”) to their cat or dog.
Many men who consider themselves as “dog people” have had an awakening of spirit after a kitten showed up in their home. There are families torn apart after the tragic loss of a loved one but have had their relationships mended over the love of a puppy.
“Ordinary” people have turned heroic to save animals in danger.
It is not enough to “own” a pet; it can be one truly rewarding experience of your life if you actually love it back.
I have seen pets acquired by humans just for showing off. The owners got them just to brag that they have the means to buy that special breed of cat or dog.
In many cases, the owner walks the pet just to show off but, in truth, it is left entirely in the care of the househelp. When the pet misbehaves, the human is at a loss and then the driver or nanny is called to pacify it (and successfully does so). It is the helpers who have formed the familial relationship with the dog or cat, instead of the owners (come to think of it, in some families they do this with children).
It’s pointless to acquire a pet if one will not interact with and care for it. If you are around it a lot, feed it, discipline and nurture it, you get to know your pet, and it, you. The bond is formed, just like how you should with your kids.
This is why pet owners who genuinely raise their pets refer to them as their children or “our other child.”
You may be right to believe that owning a dog or cat is a step toward having a long, meaningful life. But there are a few things you should consider before you acquire one or give one as gift.
It is a huge daily responsibility to keep a pet. Even if you owned one as a child, it does not follow that having one now will fit into your lifestyle. Do not buy a pet as status symbol or just because it looks cute in the store.
And please never (!) buy a pet as gift to someone who is not ready to own one. There are some men who have given dogs or cats as presents just to score points with a girl. They fail to recognize that some in her household could be allergic to or fearful of the animal. While the girl may be impressed, the pet’s presence could become a continuing point of animosity in the household.
Poor gift-giving guy actually gets negative points with the rest of the house.
If you choose to get a pet, you must assess your lifestyle, living situation and financial resources. There will be huge tasks when you have a living, breathing creature join your family.
You shall be responsible for your pet’s every need.
Veterinarian Karen Halligan suggests that “pets should be selected with the entire family in mind.”
This means considering everyone’s needs, expectations, fears and medical issues. Consider if the family will do well by caring for a new pet, or will the pet become a burden after the initial excitement wears off.
Remember that children will not always fulfill the promises they make about caring for the new pet. That job may fall on someone else who did not want it in the first place. Will having a relationship with this pet add to or subtract from any other relationships you may have, such as with a spouse, a girlfriend, children, close friends or even your job?
The bottom line is that owning a pet is good for you. Studies show that people who own cats and dogs live longer and healthier lives. So caring for a cat or dog, in the long run, may save you money—on health care costs.
But you must be in a position to take good care of it. Pet ownership is a privilege and huge responsibility. You must be committed to your dog or cat’s care emotionally and financially.
Take a good honest look at your reasons for wanting to raise your pet, as if it were your child.
The wrong reasons include feeling sorry for them, buying them because they look cute or buying a pet for a friend. Pets do not come with warranties. You cannot return them because things did not work right.
You do not have to be wealthy to keep your pet healthy but make sure your lifestyle and finances can afford looking after one.
A pet can make you smile when you are feeling tired. It can let you feel loved after an argument or a bad day.
You will have a long and happy owner-pet relationship if you make sure that you are getting that dog or cat for the right reasons.