Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 28th 2015 Contents B1
Saturday, March 28, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
IMPORTERS & EXPORTERS
Tel: (868) 628-9042 Fax: (868) 628-7629
Before you actually acquire a pet, there
are some things that The Animal Wel-
fare Network (AWN) and the Trinidad
and Tobago Society for the Prevention
of Cruelty to Animals (TTSPCA) would
like you to consider carefully.
What kind of a pet do you want?
Do you want a small pet such as a
hamster, a gerbil, a snake or some fishes?
All of these need their own accommoda-
tion but take up a relatively small space
in your house or apartment. Do some re-
search and talk to pet shop owners be-
fore deciding on one of these small pets.
Do you want a cat or dog?
Cats make good companions, and are
an ideal single person's pet. They are
fairly independent and are less likely than
dogs to suffer separation anxiety while
you are at work. They are capable of ex-
ercising themselves, playing with toys or
chasing around the home.
On the other hand, dogs are pack ani-
mals and need to be part of a family.
They need the companionship of humans
or other dogs and should not be left
alone for a long time.
Are you prepared to take a dog for
walks regularly and spend time playing
and training him? Small dogs get quite a
bit of exercise running round an average
yard but you need more space for a large
dog AND you need to take it for walks.
Do you have TIME for a pet for the whole
of its lifetime, which may be as long as 15
Can you afford to feed the pet you
would like to have?
The bigger the pet, the more food you
will need for it. There is a huge differ-
ence between feeding a PomPek and a
Rottweiler, so you should consider your
Are you prepared to buy the other
essentials for a pet?
These include collars (changed
when they become worn or too
small), leads and, most important I.D
tags. If your pet does get lost, only
its ID tag will enable people to re-
turn the dog to you if found.
Is your property secure enough to
keep the chosen dog inside?
It must be fully fenced and gated,
so that the animal does not get out
and get lost, or annoy people on
your street. Are you prepared to im-
prove your fencing, if necessary, be-
fore getting a dog? Also, everyone
needs to learn to close the gates
when they come and go.
Most important -- Does everyone
living in the household agree with
getting a pet and with the kind of
pet to get?
Agreement is important, as if
some members of the household
are hostile or indifferent to the pet
this can cause problems at home
and the pet may suffer. It is not un-
known for a dog or cat to starve if
the person who usually feeds it is
away because others at home say,
"It's not my pet".
Do you want to adopt or buy?
The TTSPCA and AWN would pre-
fer that you adopt an animal and
give it a home. That's because we
know how many dogs and cats are
in need of good homes in T&T.
By adopting, you will give a dog or
cat a second chance at life and ac-
quire an interesting pet that has al-
ready been spayed or neutered.
If you must buy, be very careful
where you purchase your pet.
Please, do not give in to the tempta-
tion to buy an "exotic" breed that is
totally unsuited to the climate. Dogs
bred for cold climates do not do well
in the tropics. Your best choice is
the sturdy Trinidad Terrier a.k.a. the
budget. Some dogs are happy with
cooked meat and pasta or rice, while oth-
ers live exclusively on chow. Cats usually
like to nibble, so leaving out a bowl of
chow for them is a good option, with a
spoonful or two of tinned food, fresh or
tinned fish offered once or twice a day.
Can you afford the veterinary care that a
pet will need over its lifetime?
Cats and dogs both need vaccinations,
with booster shots annually.
You will also need to take your pet to a
veterinarian when it gets ill, as only a vet-
erinarian can provide the right care and
advice. DO NOT attempt to treat the ani-
You should spay or neuter your pet, so
that you do not find yourself trying to re-
home two to three litters of pups or kit-
tens each year. Don't contribute to the
stray population in T&T. Spaying or neu-
tering your pet early will also reduce the
chance of it contracting certain diseases
of the reproductive organs.
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