Having a pet can bring such joy into one’s household, whether it be a dog, cat or fish. No matter what type of animal, they all need affection and care from their owners.
Though taking care of a furry friend may seem like an easy task, it’s a big commitment, and many animals these days are being neglected or even given up for adoption because their owners are unable to properly care for them.
To start, it’s important to think things through before welcoming a pet into the family. It becomes stressful and confusing to animals when they are forced to change owners or move to the pound or animal shelter when owners change their mind about owning a pet. Many people, including college students, like the idea of a pet but all too soon realize how time consuming the job can be.
Animals, more specifically dogs, need plenty of exercise and quality playtime with their owners and other dogs. The average dog needs at the minimum 30 minutes of exercise, and larger dog breeds may even need an hour as they have more energy and instinct to sniff and hunt outdoors. Cats need exercise too but are more into playful affection and toys, though some cats do like to explore and hunt outside as well. It’s important to remember that pets are social creatures just like humans, and though people have their own friends and social lives, they are all their pets have, and it’s up to the owner to give them their time and love.
A healthy diet and a comfortable shelter are two of the best gifts owners can give their four-legged friends. Always do research and talk to a veterinarian about the best and healthiest brands of pet food. There are many unhealthy brands on the market, and in the long run, this can be harmful to pets. Protection from the summer heat, as well as the colder months of the year, is crucial for animals for them to survive. Bringing them indoors in the cold and providing shade and lots of water in the summer will ensure protection for outdoor animals.
Want to adopt a dog or volunteer? Here are some local organizations:
Animal Rescue League of Laurel
SCAR – Southern Cross Animal Rescue
Southern Pines Animal Shelter
Hub City Humane Society
by Tori Ellis