Posted in cats, dogs, ferrets, guinea pig, pets, rabbits

Signs that you’re a pet owner

Once a pet has been carried over the threshold of your home, you and your family members instantly become noticed for habits that you have picked up as the result of adopting a critter. (If you haven’t assumed these habits, you most likely will soon.) These habits include, but are not limited to:

• your house cleaning regimen mainly consists of vacuuming pet hair off furniture (and everywhere else)

• you know the names of your coworkers’ pets and probably every pet crisis they’ve ever faced

• you know the days of operation and the hours of every local pet store

• you have the vet’s office phone number on speed dial

• your exercise program consists mainly of dodging pet vomit and lifting arthritic doggies into the family vehicle

• you own a carseat or carrier for your pet and you use it properly

• you own a clicker

• you buy paper towels at every possible sale

• your compost pile has wood shavings in it

• you’ve visited the pet emergency room in the middle of the night at least once

• you know more about animal anatomy than you care to say

• your children hear “wash your hands” after playing with pets, over and over and over…

• your garbage is the heaviest in the neighborhood

• you have pet food bowls in your kitchen sink right now

• you’d pay good money for a pet’s manicure

• you leave a faucet dripping for a pet to drink from

• your pet gets a haircut more frequently than you do

• you own a lint roller but it’s not really for lint

• you perk up when you hear about a rabies clinics sponsored by Public Health

• you have a favorite kennel and you know how early to book a stay for the holidays

• you know the name of everyone who works at the local pet stores

• your furniture looks ragged and it’s usually occupied by furry family members

• you know what a zoonotic disease is and can name at least one

• you keep a to-do list

• you own a pooper scooper

• you sleep in odd positions so as not to disturb slumbering pets

• you know what a breakaway collar is

• there are bare spots in your lawn

• you’re instantly mobilized by the sound of a pet upchucking

• you have at least one leash hanging on your coat rack

• your basement sink has a kitty litter box in it right now

• you’ve visited the Center for Disease Control’s website section for teaching children about rabies

• you know what a “three dog night” means

• you visit garage sales to buy odd dishes to use for pet food

• your dishwasher is permanently set on disinfect mode

• your kids know not to approach unfamiliar animals, even pets owned by their friends

• despite all the inconveniences, the hardship and sacrifice of owning a pet, you can’t imagine living without them!


What habits have you adopted along with your pet?



a little off-center, but full of good intentions

5 thoughts on “Signs that you’re a pet owner

  1. This one cracked me up: “you’re instantly mobilized by the sound of a pet upchucking.” We used to have a dog that loved to eat grass and then she’d come inside and vomit. I can still hear the sound of her throat gurgling!

    1. It’s amazing how that sound sticks in memory, isn’t it? I’ve even bounded out of bed in the middle of the night at the sound.

  2. So many times people have come to me, worried because their dog has picked up an aggravating habit. Maybe he’s chewing the carpet, or racing in circles around the house, or showing surprising aggression . And so often the answer is the same: Your dog is getting bored—he wants something to do. Dogs aren’t born expecting to be waited on hand and foot, with meals produced whenever they are hungry; no creature in the animal world is. In the wild—from the time they are babies—dogs have to work for their food. They have to hunt it down or go hungry. I like to tell people that in Mexico, where I am from, the dogs are thin but they don’t have psychological problems. Dogs have been bred over the centuries for different jobs—from rounding up cattle to hunting to hauling. When their natural instinct is denied, they become frustrated, and that is when they start to show signs of aggressive behavior. So do what your dog asks and give him a job. Put a pack on his back when you go for walks or create obstacle courses so he can put his scent-tracking abilities to good use. You’ll see right away how happy it makes him.

    1. You’ve got the right idea there. Show them how much you appreciate their abilities. Cats need stimulation as well, since many people keep them indoors and they can get “cabin fever” too. Hiding toys around the house, making interesting places to climb and view the outdoors, playing with them and grooming them regularly can help them be happier.

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