By Jacqui Green
Thinking of adding a four-legged friend to your family? Here’s what you need to know.
It’s well documented that owning a pet is good for you. Animals act as companions to us, they help keep us healthy, they become an integral part of the family. But welcoming a pet into your home isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly, and neither is choosing where to get your pet from.
Here on Lantau, we’re fortunate to have a number of great rescue groups – local volunteers who help to look after and rehome animals in need. The animals in their care, broadly speaking, come from three main groups: feral/ abandoned puppies and kittens that are found roaming, animals whose owners have given them up for rehoming and pedigrees given up by breeders.
The message from the rescue groups is clear: don’t shop, adopt! Yes, there are pet shops in Hong Kong, but when there are already so many animals out there needing a loving home, it’s obvious that adopting and giving an animal a second chance in life is the better way to go.
Of course, having a pet is a huge responsibility – it takes time, effort and money! If any of these are in short supply, or likely to become so in the future, think again.
But if you’re certain that you can commit to a new pet, you should think about the type of animal that will complement your personal situation.
Be sure to consider your family make-up, your lifestyle, back-up options for holidays and, most crucially, your future and where you may go from Hong Kong. Do you know the quarantine requirements and the expense involved in rehoming a pet?
Bearing all this in mind will help you decide what type of pet is right for you in terms of size, age, characteristics and background. It’s easy to be swayed by your heart, but let your head get a look-in too!
Whatever you decide, there’s no doubt that pets bring with them a wealth of joy and fulfilment – they amuse, they delight, they teach, they comfort, and most pet owners will tell you that they simply couldn’t live without them!
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