So often, our children beg for a puppy, only to find out that the puppy grew into a less adorable adult dog.

Owning a pet comes with a huge responsibility. As a parent to human children I remember going to many antenatal classes to understand best how to look after my children after birth. The same dedication should be given to the ownership of our furry friends.

Preferably, pet lovers would have adopted rescue dogs and cats. They make such adoring companions. But for those who insist on breed specific, I trust that they would have done the research as to which breed of dog or cat is suitable for your lifestyle. So often we choose the incorrect breed which then becomes problematic and eventually finds their way to some rescue organisation. It is just remarkable how many rescue organisations there are that are breed specific. Obviously, something went wrong and I believe it is because we chose a breed of dog or cat that was not suitable to our lifestyle and habits.

Puppies need to be socialized and they must interact many times and regularly with other dogs. If not, this will result in a pet that is not sociable and will eventually become a nightmare in your life. Your furry friend may be with you for 15 years or more and therefore it is imperative that you have a sociable being at home and in public. Animal behaviourists are experts in this field and pet owners are well advised to call on their services.

Find a veterinarian that you feel comfortable with and is not only in business for commercial reasons. Vaccinations is another subject worthy of study. It is our belief that your initial inoculations are possibly necessary but inoculating regularly reduces your pets immunity and could be causing more damage than good. Do your own research.

Walking your dogs is not just about exercise. Walking your dog allows them to enjoy the smells and senses of nature. They can then perform their essential acts of marking their territory and engaging naturally with other dogs. Any dog that is now allowed to engage with nature will have inevitably have unsocialable personalities.

Our pets deserve clean and fresh water. Nowadays we are vigilant as to the quality of water we drink, often using only filter water or bottled water. The same consideration should be offered to our pets. Your pets diet is the path to their longevity and health. Careful consideration should be given to your pets dietary requirements. We trust that pet owners would consider administering diets that are wholesome, real and preservative free. This is the world-wide trend for human and pet alike.

Poisons and chemicals are extremely dangerous and perhaps what explains the carcinogenic in our lives and that of our pets. One is well advised to refrain from chemical based flea repellents and support natural remedies.

In general, responsible pet owners are encouraged to apply their minds and logic and to ignore marketing jargon. They are encouraged to do the necessary research and studies. Pet owners are encouraged to understand labels and ingredients and it is our belief that if you are unable to pronounce the ingredient or you do not understand the naming of that ingredient, then one should not feed this products.

Having a pet in your life is a privilege and miracle. It is our responsibility to earn their respect and offer them a safe abode and healthy living.