Multi-Pet Households – Magic, or Mayhem?
In this article, Holidays4Dogs considers the pros and con’s of multi-pet households.
From as far back as I remember, I wanted to be surrounded by pets. When I lived at home my parents just didn’t have the time, or inclination for family pets. I once had a hamster, but that was it.
If you crave a pet but can’t quite commit full time, why not consider becoming a carer for Holidays4Dogs?! 🙂
Alternatively, if you have one or more dogs and are not averse to adding, ‘just one more’ to the mix now and again, being a Holidays4Dogs carer could be just the ticket.
And ! You make a bit of pocket money along the way!
When left home and got married, I was a devil for taking in abandoned dogs – and other pets – until our house became to resemble a small petting zoo. “One more won’t hurt”, I would tell myself as I picked up yet another small furry, from a dismal, dusty little pet shop.
“Not another one!?” my husband would lament. “Where, on earth, are we going to put them all?!” At one point we had four dogs of our own, plus very often a foster dog from a local rescue charity. Add to the mix, a rabbit, several pet rats, a hamster and a cat. At the time I was a stay-at-home mum, so along with caring for two small children and my beloved menagerie, my days were never dull!
Taking on multiple pets of any kind is a big responsibility. It is therefore important to be realistic about your lifestyle and circumstances, thereby avoiding a situation that becomes too much for you; or the pets in question.
How many is too many?
This is a tricky question because it depends on multiple factors such as time available, home environment, financial circumstances and of course the type of pet you are keeping. Five or, six rabbits, in the average sized house or garden might be one thing, but 5 or 6 dogs might be quite another!
Multi-pet households, or animal hoarders?
We have all heard of animal hoarders. This is when the keeping of lots of pets can result in welfare issues of the animals concerned. Animal hoarders truly believe they are saving animals and caring for them adequately. Sadly, all too often, animals are kept in unsanitary conditions and confined to small spaces.
Hoarders of multiple pets are quite often unaware of just how many animals they have. Furthermore, not only do they neglect their animals, but they also tend to neglect themselves.
Time and cost.
Even if you have just one pet, it is always essential to consider how much time you have to spend caring for that animal. Naturally, the more animals you have, the more time you will need to dedicate to their welfare.
Space is also a huge consideration, particularly if you intend to keep multiple dogs, or cats. Both need adequate space to be able to live without the risk of stress which can lead to fighting.
Cost is also another important factor when it comes to menageries. Keeping lots of pets can be expensive – even when they are healthy. The odds of having one or more animal fall ill goes up the more pets you have. At any one time, veterinary fees can mount up.
Pets and housing.
The final consideration is to find out whether you are even allowed to keep multiple animals. In privately rented, or housing association properties, you are very often not allowed to have pets at all. Written permission is usually required for non-home owners. However, the law is changing with regard to tenants rights and the keeping of pets.
In some areas of the UK, (most new properties and urban housing developments) there are by-laws, covenants and house deeds that prevent owners from keeping certain pets. These include, chickens, ducks, goats, pigs or sheep in urban gardens. Even if you plan to keep just a couple of chickens in the garden, it is advisable to seek advice from your local council first.
If you love the thought of menageries, keeping lots of pets can indeed be a magical experience, especially for young children. For many families keeping pets is highly enriching and improves the quality of many people’s lives.