It is incredibly difficult to resist those innocent eyes gazing into yours, pleading to take them home and make them a member of the family. Perhaps it is the tiny, soft, and fluffy paws that are designed to melt the strongest of hearts. While pets may bring immense joy for their companionship, it is important to understand the responsibilities that come with owning a pet.
There may already be an initial cost upfront when purchasing a pet (unless they are adopted) especially when they are of a rarer breed. Then there will be the pet food, vaccinations, training school, worming tablets, vet visits, grooming sessions, pet accessories and the list goes on. The costs eventually add up and before you know it, it will almost be like having a baby.
Pets are generally social creatures (less for cats) and require plenty of love, care and patience. There are not toys to entertain you in times of boredom. Will you to stick with your pet when they are ill or have outgrown their cuter puppy or kitten days? Who will be responsible for taking care of them while you go off to your full 9-5 job or are traveling? These are important points to consider before taking one in. Pets need companionship and they can get lonely and depressed without love from their owners.
Pet hair or fur may often trigger allergies and while it sometimes be controlled by working with an allergist and creating pet-free zones, if someone in your family has severe, even life-threatening reactions to pet dander, bringing home a pet is not the way to go. Even if you or your spouse do not have an allergy to pet fur, do consider this fact before the arrival of a newborn or a guest into your home.
4) Living Conditions
Certain pets such as the Siberian Husky which gained popularity over the past few years will require plenty of space and require cool climate to stay comfortable. The humidity and heat in Malaysia may make them sick, so you will need to be prepared to have plenty of air-conditioning. Large pets will also require plenty of space for exercise and work out. Avoid confining pets to a small cage, they will not be pleased - like this murderous looking cat.
5) Cultural sensitivity
Owning certain pets such as dogs may be a culturally sensitive issue in Malaysia. While Syed Azmi Alhabshi held a dog-petting event to raise awareness to eliminate stigma and fear surrounding dogs, he has received bouts of death threats and online abuse over the incident. While the majority of Malaysians are open to the idea of dogs in the neighbourhood, you will need to keep an eye out for your man's best friend in the unfortunate event that they are subjected to abuse.
Pets may be the loyal and greatest friend a man can ever have in his life and will shape you to be a more compassionate and happier person. While it could change your life for the better, do remember that being a pet owner comes with great sacrifice and time. Perhaps just by looking at the blissful face of your pet welcoming you home after a long day, may just make everything worthwhile.
This article was contributed by Samantha Yong.