From the traditional cat and dog to the more exotic lizards and snakes, everyone who has a pet will agree that our animal friends play a massive part of our everyday lives.
April marks National Pet Month, a celebration of all the animals we’ve welcomed into our families, homes and, most importantly, hearts. We’ve put together a list of seven things pet owners can relate to on a daily basis to help remind you just what it’s like living with pets:
1. It’s a hairy affair
If you have a fear of fur, owning a pet with hair probably isn’t going to be your thing. Be prepared to find hair everywhere you look and even in some of the strangest and most unusual places.
Taking extra care when pouring a drink and eating dinner has become the norm for you, and when you leave the house you’ll undoubtedly check to make sure you don’t resemble a giant human fur ball. A good vacuum cleaner (that’s constantly on) and an strong supply of lint rollers are essential for anyone living with pets in the battle against those pesky hairs.
2. Lock up your leftovers!
Despite all we feed them, our pets always seem to be yearning for that bit extra. When we’ve bitten off a bit more than we can chew, we like to keep it for later. Our pets on the other hand will just keep on eating. If they come across those slices of pizza or that slab of meat that you’ve got saved for later, they certainly won’t think twice about tucking into it.
One of the measures pet owners constantly have to take to keep their treasured tucker for themselves is to make sure it’s kept well out of their pet’s reach. Ensuring it has an almost impregnable layer of cling film, reinforced with additional crockery and kept securely in the fridge is the only way to protect your precious leftovers.
3. Feed them first
All it takes is a simple shout of “din dins” and your pets will be at their bowls faster than a rocket. The sound of their food hitting their bowls will instantly draw them to your presence. Don’t think for a minute you’re a modern-day Dr Dolittle – all they want is your food, they couldn’t care less what you’re saying to them when you’re pouring it out! If you’ve got a cat or a dog, just don’t be surprised if you hear an envious bark or purr when they do see you sitting down to eat!
4. Toys, toys and more toys
You might associate toys with households that have babies and children, but pet owners know full well that they need them for their furry friends. Whether it be a chewed-up rubber ball or a plastic mouse filled with catnip, play toys are all regular features in a pet home. Even the likes of hamsters, ferrets and guinea pigs are partial to a few toys, with running wheels and balls they can clamber around in being scattered around the house. You’re constantly on edge that you’re going to stand on one of these toys and let out a yelp of your own!
5. Screeches and squeals, all the time
The sound of scratching on our precious leather sofas or the purring, barking, squeaks and shrieks are all something pet owners can confess to hearing around the house. With time you don’t notice them, even if they may be disturbing your sleep or favourite tv shows, it’s just part and parcel of living with pets. Expect the occasional explicit utterance if you own a parrot too, if they’ve picked up some of your words – it could become your pet’s party trick!
6. What did I step in?!
Accidentally stepping on tails or paws or in water bowls is one thing, but if your pet has had a little accident in the confines of your home and your foot has landed straight into it, it’s a whole different kettle of fish. Double checking just where you’re putting your feet is something you have imprinted in your brain. Remember, if it’s something wet, you might be in a spot of bother!
7. You got a friend in me
Probably the most important thing you notice when you live with pets is the fact that they absolutely adore you! Okay, it might just be them wanting some food, but pets love their owner, and vice versa. They’re great at picking us up when we’re down, helping us keep fit and healthy, improve our social skills and can brighten up our day.