We all know that there are many benefits to owning a pet. Pets can teach children and adults alike the virtues of trust, compassion, respect, and most especially patience.
However, owning a pet is also a privilege and a responsibility at the same time. According to Kapuso actress Carla Abellana, it is a commitment that should result in a mutually beneficial relationship between pets and owners. (Read: 5 Prayers of Blessing for Beloved Pets and Animals)
Carla, known for having a soft heart toward animals, is a proud advocate of responsible pet ownership. She has been living with Patches, her Jack Russell Terrier, for years, but during the quarantine period, she opened her home to two Aspins which she adopted from the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS).
On Instagram, the 34-year-old actress took the liberty to remind everyone of the importance of being a responsible pet owner. In a recent post, she shares four tips for everyone who’s been looking into having their own pet.
Tip #1: Plan everything.
According to Carla, if you are thinking about adding a pet to your family, the first thing you need to do is to plan everything. “Carefully plan and assess your situation first before getting a pet,” she writes. Do you have the time, money, and commitment to be with this pet–in good times and in bad?”
Tip #2: Choose a pet that fits your lifestyle.
More than a pet’s physical aspects, Carla says it’s best to learn about their different needs to find one that will best suit your lifestyle. (Read: Play Ideas Perfect for Your Pet’s Personality) “Please do not get a dog that requires high maintenance grooming if you cannot afford to have the dog groomed at least once a month or you cannot afford anti-tick/flea treatment,” she writes as an example.
Tip #3: Consider adopting.
Carla also reminded everyone that while it’s very convenient to get a pet from pet stores and breeders, there are plenty of reasons to opt for an animal that’s been rescued instead. (Read: 5 Homemade Dog Treats That Are Vet-Approved) “Neutering a cat or dog can be the kindest thing that you can do for them. We have more than enough cats and dogs suffering from neglect and abandonment,” she said.
Tip #4: If you can’t take care of your pet, surrender it to the nearest shelter
Being a responsible pet owner also means knowing when to stop. When you can no longer take care of your pet and it already builds a toxic relationship for both of you, it is better for you to stop.
“If you have fallen through hard times, please put up a post in your own wall with a photo of your pet and explain why you cannot keep the pet. Most often than not, a relative and a friend will help out. A sincere post will get attention,” Carla says. She adds that if you cannot find a home, foster arrangement, or rescue group, it will be best to surrender your dog to the local public animal shelter or to animal control.