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animal house living with pets
by Rebecca Pedlow
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how do your living companions feel about pets?
My fiancé was initially alarmed by the idea of cats in the household, due to an allergy. But as he found that the cats were nonnegotiable for me, he eventually got over both his reservations and the allergy when the cats arrived. Whether you live with your significant other or share a roof with roommates, you might find that your living companions are a bit resistant. They may be overwhelmed by dogs, allergic to cats, or deathly afraid of parrots, and all this needs to be considered in your hopes to take on a pet. Having a plan prepared regarding how you will care for your new pet will help allay some of their fears, but be prepared for a refusal, or a compromise in the areas of the house the animal is allowed to prowl.

Still another point you might want to consider is how an animal reacts to kids. If you're regularly visited by small children, already have ones of your own, or foresee their presence in the future, you should know that some animals get easily spooked by the whirlwind of energy and high-pitched noises that junior can generate. If you're hoping to have a home that's both pet- and child-friendly, make sure you choose a placid animal that will be safe around the kids.

do you have the spare cash?
Animals are expensive, especially once you've gotten them home. There are the food bills, the vet bills, the cages/bowls/litter trays. Be prepared for unexpected bills to arrive at the worst of times -- vets are often as expensive as human doctors and surgery can run to thousands of dollars. My 19 year old's vet bills ran into hundreds of dollars simply for tooth decay problems. Depending where you live, neutering and vaccinations may be compulsory, further adding to the costs. And in some places, dogs may also need to be registered with the local authority.

o o o

After saying all this, I wouldn't give up my two girls for anything in the world. Nothing beats a pet balled up on your feet on a cold night, or the wake up call of your cat's purrs as she settles next to you in bed. With a little bit of forethought and planning, you can ensure that you and your pet become the happiest of roommates.


Rebecca Pedlow is a process engineer living in Fremantle WA, Australia. She shares a house with her fiancé and two elderly felines. When not working she enjoys reading, home improvement projects and running.


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