Paws Corner

Too Many Pets?

DEAR PAW’S CORNER: Is it possible to have too many pets? My neighbor’s two children were proudly showing off their numerous house pets during their first-communion party a few days ago. They have four budgies, two rabbits, a cat, a dog and an iguana! Isn’t this a bit much for two young children to handle? – Concerned Next Door

DEAR CONCERNED: If the pets all appeared to be well-cared for, then it’s probably not a problem. And without knowing anything about the situation, I’m willing to bet that the iguana is cared for by the parents, since their care and feeding is pretty tricky.

With caged pets – like birds, rabbits and lizards – it’s usually pretty simple to tell whether they’re receiving good care. If their cages are really dirty (piles of waste, very smelly sawdust bedding) and if there isn’t clean water available, then there is likely a problem. With other pets, behavior and living area can be signs. Was the dog badly behaved, or was it well-socialized, or kept in a quiet room to stay calm during the party? Did you notice or smell an overflowing litter box?
If none of these signs were apparent, then the family is probably taking pretty good care of all their pets. The fact that the kids proudly showed off their pets to party guests is a good sign.

With younger kids, parents’ involvement in keeping, caring for and training pets is important. Parents have the opportunity to teach children not just responsibility, but awareness of and compassion for other living creatures. In the case of your neighbors, if the pets appear to be cared for, then I’d say the parents are doing their jobs, and you have no more cause for concern.

Send your questions or comments to ask@pawscorner.com, or write to Paw’s Corner, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. For more pet care-related advice and information, visit www.pawscorner.com. © 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.

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