If you are like us, your home is one that is made better by the love of a pet companion. Many pet owners opt for more than one animal family member, but there comes a point in which having multiple pets can become a problem for the ill-prepared household.
The question of how many pets is too many involves knowing what’s right for you and your family. This is why the team at Advantage Veterinary Center is here to explain a few things that can help you make the responsible decision for all.
It’s a Question of Quality of Care
There is no magic number for knowing how many pets should be in your home. Of course, there are municipal laws that sometimes dictate the number of cats or dogs in the home, but in many cases it’s up to the owner.
There are many things to consider when adopting additional animals, such as the time and financial expenditures you will need to make. These include:
- Veterinary examinations
- Spay/neuter surgery
- Vaccines and parasite preventatives
- Food and treats
- Supplies like bed, leash, collar, litter box and litter, waste bags, toys, grooming supplies, etc.
- Doggie daycare or dog walkers (when needed)
- Pet insurance or a pet savings account
Think about the quality of care and what each of your pets needs in order to thrive. This also includes a commitment to time, training, and exercise, as well as an ample amount of attention and affection.
How Many Pets is Too Many?
There are some key signs a pet owner is in over their heads. They may not be hoarding, per se, but trouble starts showing up when you have too many pets to care for. These problems might include:
- You cannot meet their financial needs – This includes the cost of veterinary care and other daily care needs, such as quality food and parasite control.
- Your pets don’t have ample space – Cramping animals together not only increases the risk of illness it is also highly stressful and can result in aggression. Make sure pets have the amount of space needed for their size and species, including having separate places to rest and eat in privacy.
- You can’t give them enough attention – When you have one too many pets, you may be spread too thin. Pets need your time and attention to keep behavior challenges and other problems at bay.
- You’re at risk of losing your home – If you have more pets than allowed in a rental, then you and your pets are at risk of eviction. This is obviously not good for anyone’s well-being and safety.
- The situation is unsafe – Overcrowding and stress make for an increased risk of bites, attacks, and other injuries.
- You feel overwhelmed – Pet ownership duties, like walks, should be things you look forward to. If you feel overwhelmed by pet chores or have never enough time to take care of other things because you are always attending to your pets, this signals a problem.
- Your friends and family are concerned – If your loved ones are mentioning how many pets you have in a worried way, chances are they may be right! If more than one person says you have too many pets, it’s something to pay attention to.
There are many great reasons for having a multi-pet household, especially for those who actively foster animals. While there isn’t a limit to love, there is often a limit to the amount of resources one person or household can offer. Consider carefully the number of sweet pets you can take in without compromising the important pet care needs.
If you have any questions about how many pets is too many, or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us!