Saturday, 21 July, 2007 6:48 PM
Do You Know How To Choose The
Right Pet For You?
The benefits of pet ownership
are undeniable. Numerous studies have shown that people who own
pets live longer, healthier lives. After all, pets are a constant
source of unconditional love; when life gets stressful, they seem
to instinctively understand our needs. They don’t complain
about our annoying habits and they don’t judge us if we put
on a few pounds. Yet many people often overlook the most important
factors when selecting a pet. For some people, ‘cute’
is the only criteria—which can lead to disastrous consequences.
Puppies don’t look quite so cute when they’re chewing
furniture or relieving themselves on that new Oriental rug. Lack
of foresight is one of the top reasons an estimated 6 to 8 million
unwanted pets end up at local animal shelters each year.
Dr. Diane Pomerance, author of the new book, “Pet Parenthood:
Adopting the Right Animal Companion For You,” is a bona
fide animal lover. She wants to help prospective pet parents understand
how to best choose a new pet-- and to recognize pet adoption is
a lifetime commitment and responsibility that requires much thought
and planning. “There’s no denying the attraction to
a cute puppy or kitten,” says Dr. Pomerance. “But people
need to be fully prepared for what’s truly involved in caring
for that animal. They are basically bringing a child into their
home; a child who needs plenty of attention, an abundance of patience
and a lot of time. If you don’t have the schedule, temperament,
or space requirements to meet their needs, consider a pet that does
fit your lifestyle.”
“Pet Parenthood” is a great reference for families
who are considering pet adoption. Pets make wonderful companions
for children and can help teach kids compassion, responsibility
and respect for all living creatures as well as boost their self-esteem.
But it’s important to determine ahead of time what type of
animal best suits the household and what role each family member
will take in caring for it.
“Children need to be taught responsibility and compassion,”
says Dr. Pomerance. “Parents should let their children spend
time with pets at a friend or relative’s house before they’re
allowed to have their own pet. Not all children are at the stage
where they’ve developed the sensitivity needed to take care
of a pet and treat it properly. Some kids may also wind up becoming
jealous of the attention showered on a new pet. So parents must
be wise in discerning when it’s the right time to adopt a
pet-- and be ready not only to supervise but to assume overall responsibility
for the pet's care and well being.”
“Pet Parenthood” points out other issues that
many people don’t think about before adopting their new companion,
- How will adopting
a pet change my life and daily routine?
- If I become seriously
ill or die, who will care for my pet?
- Does the pet realistically
fit my lifestyle?
- Do I have enough
space and time to play with and exercise an animal?
- Can I handle cleaning
a litter box or birdcage or cleaning up after a dog?
- If I already have
pets, will it be a problem introducing a new animal into the family?
Money also comes into
play when adopting a new pet. “No one likes to put a price
tag on the love and dedication of a beloved companion—which
is what you want your pet to become,” says Dr. Pomerance.
“But the reality is, pets can be expensive and time intensive.
So it is important to understand the costs and responsibilities
ahead of time when choosing your pet. Pet parenting is not an easy
job, but one that is truly joyful, rewarding and gratifying.”
About the author:
Diane Pomerance received her Ph.D. in Communications from the University
of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She is certified as a Grief Recovery Specialist
by the internationally recognized Grief Recovery Institute. She
counsels those grieving from any loss; however, she has a special
interest in those mourning the loss of a beloved animal companion.
The loss of a pet can be devastating to adults as well as children.
Dr. Pomerance created, established, and serves as director of the
Pet Grief Counseling Program for the SPCA of Texas. In addition
to serving as an active volunteer for the SPCA of Texas, she is
also an active member of K9 Friends Visiting Therapy Dogs, and the
Alaskan Malamute Assistance League. She is frequently interviewed
as a highly qualified “pet expert” on national television
and radio programs and has been interviewed in many newspapers and
magazines including the Los Angeles Daily News, The
Dallas Morning News, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Washington Times,
Redbook, Quick and Simple and Woman’s World.
She has been an online expert for Cat Fancy Magazine and
a guest expert on the Montel Williams Show and the nationally syndicated
She is the author of numerous articles and the highly acclaimed
children’s books, When Your Pet Dies, Animal Companions:
Your Friends, Teachers & Guides, Animal Companions in our Hearts,
Our Lives, and Our World; Animal Elders: Caring About Our Aging
Animal Companions, and FINDING PEACE After the loss of
a Loved Animal Companion. She lives in North Texas with her
husband and their eighteen canine “kids.”
Source: Event Management