Defending the kingdom | Issue 13

Defending the kingdom | Issue 13

Flat pets: A commodity or cuddly companion

Does your flat want to give an animal a home? Yes, you say, but if you get one (or more) will you treat it as a cuddly companion or as a commodity? For whatever reason you and your flat may want a pet, or why you have a pet already, it is crucial to recognise the enormity of your decision and that you carefully consider whatís required in caring for a pet responsibly.

In the initial stages of inquiry, certain factors need to be considered. Firstly, is your flat in a financial position to take on a pet? By this I do not just mean the initial purchase of your animal, but the on-going costs of food and vet bills for vaccinations and other health related issues that might surface in the future. Having the financial means to support your pet is very important, but the care does not stop there. Other very important considerations need to be taken into account also, such as who will care for your pet during the holidays and breaks? There have been instances where flat cats have disappeared while they were left at flats alone over the break and never returned. Your pet may be independent and capable, but they do require someone to watch over them. So it is important if you do go away that you organise care for your pet whilst you are away.

There is more to being a responsible pet owner than love and care; you also need to consider your living conditions and whether they are right for a pet. The suitability of your flat is the best place to start. Is your property fenced? Is there an outdoor area for your pet? Do you live on a suitable road where your pet will be safe from highways and busy roads? And you need to consider outside factors that might compromise your petís safety. Using Castle Street as a hypothetical example, your flat may be responsible and caring, but you may not be able to say the same for your neighbours. Worst-case scenario: your petís safety may be compromised by animal cruelty at the hand of another. It is a very busy student street and is frequently patronised by many drunken students at night who often make bad decisions, e.g. smashing bottles and glass over the pavements.

To all the existing pet owners, here is a simple checklist to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of you pets:

  • Your premise is safe and secure;

  • Your pets are being feed consistently;

  • Your pets are de-sexed;

  • Their vaccinations are up to date;

  • There is a warm enough sleeping area/bed available for your pets on the colder evenings; and

  • Your pets have alternative care organised for them when it may be needed.

So if your flat wants to adopt a pet and can provide them with the suitable care they need, then giving a home to a pet is a great idea. For an animal there is nothing more wonderful then the love and care they receive from a responsible family. There are various pet shops that have a range of deals that come with the pet you purchase, but the SPCA is a great organisation that also has lovely animals that need homes. They also do deals and have helpful staff to give you advice to boot.
This article first appeared in Issue 13, 2014.
Posted 2:07pm Sunday 25th May 2014 by Rosie Cox.