Submitted Date 05/01/2019

This week (May 1-8) is National Pet Week. If you have been considering getting a pet, are looking forward to spoiling your pets, or you pet sit for other people, this is the week to celebrate.

I love my pets. I have an orange, one-eyed tabby cat named Colin and a beautiful gray rabbit named Abbey. Besides my husband, they are the light of my life. They bring me so much joy and peace. Colin is a very relaxed and chill cat. He spends most of his days sleeping in various places or basking in the sun on his perch by our window.

This is when he's not marking my leg with his teeth when it's time for his afternoon snack. Around 3:00 p.m. he will come to sit and stare at me, his little eye dilated and waiting expectantly. Sometimes when I'm writing I don't realize how much time has passed so when I don't immediately meet his demand, he will come over and mark my leg with his teeth. This gets my attention because those little teeth are sharp.

Abbey, on the other hand, is our diva. She is a very active rabbit with a healthy dose of "rabbitude" as we call it. Abbey is not mean or destructive; she likes things her way. If she's not playing in her playpen, she is usually re-arranging her bedding in her cage and digging. In the evening Abbey is usually chilling in her playpen, flopped on her side sleeping. She's a lot of fun Aand we adore her.

Are You Considering a Pet?

If you are considering getting a pet, next week is the perfect time to do so. Shelters are full of pets looking for a forever home. There are usually lots of cats and dogs, but sometimes you can find rabbits and other exotic animals that need new homes. We adopted Abbey from a shelter. Here are some things to think about before choosing a pet.

* How busy is your schedule? Will you have the time and energy to devote yourself to a pet?

* Is your family on board? Are you willing to teach young children how to treat your new furry family member?

*How are your finances? Do you have the money to pay for not just the essentials like food, flea n tick prevention, a bed, and toys but also things like prescription food and expensive vet care if your animal needs it? What about paying a pet sitter if you have to go away for some reason?

You may not think this will happen but it could. My cat Carlton had chronic kidney disease and had to have his kidney enzymes often checked as well as being on prescription food and subcutaneous fluids at home in his last days. I didn't know he had the disease when I adopted him and neither did his foster Mom. Still, it didn't matter, he was my baby, and I was committed to taking care of him. Colin is currently on prescription wet and dry food, and it's costly, but he's worth it.

* Are you or your family members allergic and if so, are you willing to deal with it?

* What age animal do you want? Puppy/kitten? Adult? Senior?

* What is the activity level in your house?

* What do you prefer, a cat or a dog or something else?

* Will you be committed until the end? If they have to be put down, can you handle being with them until the procedure is over? I had to do this with Carlton, so that's the only reason I mention it.

These are just a few questions to consider when deciding on a pet. I don't put these out there to discourage you, but a pet is a lifelong commitment that you need to be ready and prepared to take on.

Spoiling Your Pet

If you already have a pet, next week is a great time to spoil them a little bit. There are many ways you can do this that your pet will love.

* If weight isn't an issue, give them a few extra treats or some extra wet food.

* Buy them a new toy or two to replace ones that are worn or torn up.

* If your dog is social and friendly with other dogs and you can afford it, see if you can send them to doggy daycare for a few days.

* Hire someone to walk your pet in the afternoon next week. A little extra exercise will be good for your pet.

* Set up a play date with your friend's dogs. Everybody meet at the dog park.

* Buy your cat a new scratching post, or cat tree.

* Buy your cat a new interactive toy.

* Buy your cat a water fountain, they love fresh, moving water.

* Buy your rabbit, guinea or chinchilla a new toy.

Spoiling Your Clients.

If you're a pet sitter, spend some time spoiling your clients if you can. Bring treats to the dogs and spend a little extra time playing with and spoiling the cats. If you have a rabbit, guinea, or chinchilla clients, ask if you can bring them a fruit or vegetable treat. Abbey loves strawberries, bananas, grapes, and green beans. We only give her in extreme moderation because they tend to put weight on her and affect her bathroom habits. If you have reptile clients, ask what you could do for them that's special.

Other Places to Get Your Pet Fix

If you aren't able to own a pet for various reasons, you can still get your furry friend fix. Volunteer at your local animal shelter, visit a dog park in your area or go to a cat cafe. If you have time in the afternoon, walk your friend's dog. If you like horses, volunteer at a sanctuary. If you like a particular breed of dog or cat, see if you can join a rescue group for that particular breed in your area. There are many ways you can still be around pets, even if you can't own one.

No matter what you choose to do, take some time to enjoy the pets in your life next week. Regardless if they are yours or someone else's they will love the extra attention and love.




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  • No name 3 years, 5 months ago

    Important to think about!! We had to give up our dog after our baby came because her health issues suddenly skyrocketed and we didn't have the money to help her. It was bad timing for everyone and I still miss her. We also had to give up our beloved rabbit to a rescue when I got pregnant again because it was too much to handle, and not what I ever expected. I didn't want kids when I got the rabbit years ago. Rabbits need a lot of socialization though. No pet is an easy pet and it is important to remember that you have to provide it always when you receive one. It's also okay to know when it is time to find them a new home where they can be happy and helped as well.

    • Carrie Lowrance 3 years, 4 months ago

      Yep. :) I'm sorry you had to give up your fur babies but I'm glad they found new homes.

  • Miranda Fotia 3 years, 4 months ago

    I've never heard of National Pet Week. Thanks for the info. Great piece!

    • Carrie Lowrance 3 years, 4 months ago

      Thank you, Miranda. I hadn't either until I started doing some research.