Thursday, May 31, 2012

Animal Hoarding: How Many Pets Are Too Many?

By Catie Keeler
Recently there have been several news articles on the number of pets that should be allowed in a home or physical area. Pet lovers want to be able to have as many pets as they can, while the people who are concerned about the number of pets worry about the care that the pets are getting. In the end it should come down to how well the pets are being cared for, and their needs before the needs of others. If you love animals you may already have one or two dogs or cats, and you may be considering adding other animals to the mix. There is no set number at how many pets are "too many", but you should take several factors into consideration before you get another pet.

Proper Care

One of the biggest considerations if you want to add another animal to your family is whether or not you can continue to provide proper care for the animal. Each animal takes time and money for proper care. Some of the saddest pet stories on the news are when the owners simply had too many pets, became overwhelmed, and were not able to properly care for their pets. It is best to slowly add to your pets one at a time, so that you do not end up having to give away animals that you have grown to love. Always consider the cost of food, veterinary care, and other variable expenses when adding a new pet to the family. Also, part of good pet care is having a plan in place in the event you have to evacuate. The more pets you have, the harder it will be to find a shelter or a hotel that will let you bring your pets.

Space Considerations

Another important aspect of taking on new pets is whether or not you have enough space available for your pet to run and play, as well as to sleep. This may be easier if you have a fenced in yard where your dogs can run around outside. However, you also need enough room inside of the house to accommodate your animals. If you have a large yard or live out in the country, you may be able to take on more pets and animals because you have the additional space. However if you live in an apartment in the city, one pet may be all that is best for you at this time. You must also consider the laws and ordinances for the area you live. Some cities, counties, states, and even countries have strict rules for the type and number of pets that can be kept within their borders.

Humane Treatment

Finally you need to be sure that you are treating your pets humanely. It is important that if you do have an extra litter or if you are breeding dogs that you have a space that allows the animals to stay healthy while they are in your care. If you are someone who wants multiple pets, you will need to make sure you have enough room and time to properly care for the animals. All pet owners (with the exception of commercial breeders) should spay and neuter their pets to avoid unwanted litters, and to help prevent health problems associated with intact animals. Before adding another pet to the family, you should always ask yourself "Why do I want this pet? Am I doing what is in the best interest of this pet and my other pets?" As tempting as it is to take in every cute kitten or puppy you come across, you must always remember to do what is right for the  animal and for your pets at home. Though it's sometimes hard to realize, the right home for that animal may not always be with you..."  Link

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