Parker County Today December 2016 - Page 47

C hoosing a pet can be hard. Whether you know exactly what you want or are completely clueless, choosing an animal to adopt into your family can be as nerve-racking as it is exciting. • General Healthcare • Emergency and Critical Care • Advanced and Routine Surgery eventually come back to you. Pets can bring incomprehensible joy to your life, and all they want in return is a kind, loving home with you. In my own experience, I talked to my parents about exactly how they chose my childhood dog. The morning my parents brought Rudolph into our home a little girl received the friend of a lifetime. With his kind exterior and loving instincts, I have always been curious how my parents picked such a good dog that fit seamlessly into our family home. When I asked my mom how exactly they chose him she said, “We chose him because he was the most active [and] curious. He came right over to us.” They took one look into his “bright shiny eyes” and knew he was the dog they had been looking for. The benefits of owning a pet are extraordinary, especially when chosen correctly with research and planning these pets can bring happiness to an entire family. To find pets up for adoption in Parker County visit: ci.weatherford. tx.us and follow the prompts. • Complete In-House Laboratory • Advanced Dental Procedures • Laser Therapy • Ultrasound • Endoscopy Appointments available Mon.-Fri. 8:30am-6pm; Sat. 8:30am-4pm Dr. Randy Langerhans Dr. Jennifer Parsley | Dr. Jaime Doherty | Dr. Crystal Terry Dr. Matthew Noland - General and Advanced Dentistry 3713 Fort Worth Hwy., Hudson Oaks, TX 76087 817-341-3331 | www.I-20animalhospital.com PA R K E R C O U N T Y T O D AY Doctor and staff on premise 24 hours daily for Emergencies and Critical Care. DECEMBER 2016 With so many factors to consider in the choice of a pet, if done incorrectly it can be disastrous, but approached with forethought, research and some old-fashioned horse sense, you could end up with a new best friend or possibly your child’s best friends. Choosing the right pet with the right mentality is important to you, your family and vitally important to your children. How do I know what kind of pet is right for me? There are several factors to consider before selecting a pet. Step 1: Research the type of pet you’re interested in. You should think about a pet that matches both your lifestyle and your home environment. You probably wouldn’t want to adopt a Great Dane if you live in a minuscule loft with no yard. You might rethink the whole issue of dog ownership if you never have the time to come home and play with him. That would be simply cruel. Step 2: Think about why you want a pet. Are you longing for companionship or are you simply going through a phase? Before you adopt a pet, you do well to consider if you have the time and energy to give it the care and love it needs. Unlike potted plants, an animal needs more than food and water to survive. They seek companionship. Dogs get lonely just like people can. You have several other factors to think about. Are you at a point in your life where it is appropriate to add a pet? You also have to think about how long the pet you are considering will live. For example, a small dog will live anywhere from 12 to 15 years, a horse will live from 25-30 years, a pot-bellied pig from 30 to 40 years (that’s quite a commitment) and tortoises have been known to live for over 150 years. Factoring in how long these animals are expected to live is paramount. Another important consideration is whether you can meet the financial and social needs a pet requires? Are you financially equipped for the responsibilities of vet visits, grooming, medication and vaccinations your pet will require? Step 3: Shop around for the pet you want. This step involves going to places like animal rescue groups or the Weatherford/Parker County Animal Shelter to see if they have the animal you have been looking for. This may require several visits, but it’s worth it. Step 4: Select your pet and love him/her unconditionally. Once you have a pet that fits in your family and lifestyle, whether it’s a loving ball of fluff or a huggable bunch of scales, the pet you have chosen will be a member of your family. After taking all the proper steps to choosing your pet the love you give to them will 45