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Pets at home

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Introducing a new pet to the family is always an exciting experience, one that undeniably impacts any family members’ and animals’ lives.

But before deciding to acquire a pet, one must be sure first if they are ready for the long-term commitment and the slew of responsibilities that come with it. Do you have enough time? Can you provide financially?

Caroline Aquino, MD from the Department of Pediatrics Section of Allergology & Immunology of Makati Medical Center (MakatiMed), said that changes in a person’s lifestyle  especially those with children are inevitable when you’re a pet owner.

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF makatimed HEALTH problems of every family member must be considered first before getting a pet.

“You need to assess if your child is genuinely interested in getting a pet. Depending on their age, you cannot really expect them to look after the pet full time. This means that you, as the parent, would ultimately have the full responsibility of making sure the pet is well taken care of,” Aquino said in a statement.

Health factors and risks, for one, need to be considered to keep everyone at home safe.

While having pets is proven to greatly contribute to a person’s overall health, there are those with existing allergies who may experience health issues when meeting new pets. Aquino recommends seeing an allergist for consultation before this happens.

Pets are known to be agile in nature so they will most likely cause clutter at home.

“See to it that if you are going to get a pet, you are willing to clean up their spaces regularly. Even low maintenance pets like fish especially if placed in a large aquarium could add to the humidity in a room and increase the household’s risk of molds and house dust mites, which can also trigger allergies,” Aquino said.

Lastly, pet owners should be on the lookout for other animal infections like rabies. It is a must to vaccinate your pets and bring them to the veterinarian for regular check-ups.

Dr. Maria Angela Nicole Perreras-Grande of MakatiMed’s Department of Pediatrics Section of Infectious Disease emphasized that pets need tender love and care as much as our family members do.

“Having a pet at home can enrich one’s childhood and brighten up a home, but a cat or a dog is not a toy that can be set aside anytime. Introducing a pet to the family is ultimately a decision that should be thought over and over again,” she said.

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