What we expect from good,
responsible pet owners:
(My Ten Commandments)
by Roger Ross, DVM
1. Common sense over frivolous emotional desires: not to get a pet at all if you don't have the appropriate setting, time, or money to devote to a living creature.
2. A safe and comfortable setting.
3. Decent food and water on a regular basis.
4. An appropriate place to eliminate bodily wastes
5. Exercise, play, and frequent companionship
6. Enough time and effort spent on training, if you have
a dog, to make him or her a joy to be around rather than an aggrivation to everyone.
7. A plan and preparation for those times when you need to leave your pet for extended periods such as vacations, job assignments, funerals, weddings, and so forth.
8. Grooming Care if needed. Pets are miserable if heavily matted or suffering from dry, flakey skin or seborrhea.
9. Spaying & Neutering: Unless you really plan on breeding your pet and taking on all the extra responsibilities of that project, neutering your pet prevents all kinds of health and anxiety problems for your pet, all kinds of nuisance problems for you and your community such as roaming and biting, and it eliminates unwanted litters. Remember that each and every county KILLS HUNDREDS of pets each month.
10. Health Care. Without vaccinations and treatment for illnesses and injuries, most animals would die at a young age or live in pain and misery. We expect a good responsible pet owner to provide regular veterinary check ups, recommended vaccinations, parasite control, and veterinary health care when injuries and illnesses occur. And now that we know the importance of gum health, we expect good pet owners to provide dental care for their pets on a regular basis as needed.
1. My life is likely to last 10 to 15 years. Any separation from you will be very painful.
2. Give me time to understand what you want from me. Do not break my spirit with your temper, though I will always forgive you. Your patience and understanding will teach me more quickly those things you want me to learn.
3. Have me spayed or neutered.
4. Treat me kindly, my beloved friend, for no heart in all the world is more grateful for your kindness than mine. Don't be angry with me for long, and don't lock me up as punishment. After all, you have your job, your friends, your entertainment. I have only you.
5. Speak to me often. Even if I don't understand all your words, I understand your voice when it's speaking to me. Your voice is the sweetest sound I ever hear, as you must know by my enthusiastic excitement when your footsteps fall upon my waiting ear.
6. Please take me inside when it's cold and wet. I'm a domestic animal and am no longer accustomed to the bitter elements. I ask for little more than your gentle hands petting me. Keep my bowl filled with clean water; I cannot tell you when I'm thirsty. Feed me good food so that I may stay well, to romp and play and do your bidding, to be by your side, and stand ready, willing and able to share with you my life, for that is what I live for. However you treat me, I'll never forget it.
7. Don't hit me. Remember, I have teeth that could easily crush the bones in your hand, but I choose not to bite you.
8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I am not getting the right food, I've been out in the sun too long, or my heart may be getting old and weak.
9. Take care of me when I get old. You will grow old too.
10. When I am very old, when I no longer enjoy good health, please do not make heroic efforts to keep me going. I am not having fun. Just see to it that my trusting life is taken gently. And be with me on that difficult journey when it is time to say goodbye. Never say, "I can't bear to watch". Everything is easier for me when you are there. I will leave this earth knowing with my last breath that my fate was always safest in your hands. I love you.