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This National Pet Day, Do Your Research Before Getting Your Own

Today is national pet day. While many people are letting Spot have a bite of steak from the dinner table or giving Fluffy a new scratching post, many other pets find themselves at the SPCA or the Lakeland Humane Society, managed by Kyla Hunter.

Hunter has a some advice for potential pet owners to make sure they can keep them for their full life. She says a lot of people buy a puppy, but forget that it doesn’t stay puppy sized for very long, quickly outgrowing the owner’s space. While dogs are cute and wonderful companions, they take a lot of work as well. They need to be walked daily and given lots of attention, especially when they’re in a new home.  The family having to move or expecting a child often results in pets going up for adoption as well.

Hunter urges to never buy a pet on a whim and to consult with the entire family before making any decision. Also take a good long look at how much time and energy you have left in a given day to give towards a potential fluffy friend.  If you decide you still want one, ask the volunteers at your animal shelter which might be best for you.

If you’ve never owned a pet before, she says a cat can be a better starting point than a dog. While cats live longer, they require far less maintenance, really only needing to be fed, played with a bit, and have their litter box cleaned. Best of all, contrary to the stereotype dogs and cats can get along just fine with a bit of effort. If you can handle both at once, you can get a dog later.

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