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Why have a pet if you don't like their habits?

My dog napping after tearing up my favorite chair
My dog napping after tearing up my favorite chair
Lyn Lomasi

I often get very closely involved in animal rescues, taking them in myself when there's room. I've heard many, many reasons and excuses involved in people surrendering or abandoning animals. The ones I don't understand the most involve things that are normal habits of that particular animal. If you don't like the habits of a particular animal, why bring that pet into your home?

“But my dog is chewing up my furniture.” “You don't understand, the cat is chasing herself around the house at midnight.” “The puppy tears up my papers and books.” Yes, I've heard all of these stories and more. In fact, I've heard worse.

But the fact is, these are all normal behaviors for an animal. Did you do any research before falling for that cute face?

It takes time, patience, and love to house train a new pet and some things are just normal animal things that no amount of training will change. Pets are going to do pet things before, during, and after the house training process. Dogs may chew up something you love instead of the expensive chew toy you buy. Cats may sharpen their claws on your favorite chair. They both may have accidents on your white carpet or get fur all over your beloved new outfit.

An animal is more than just a decoration. Did you not know this was a living, breathing being that wouldn't just fall at your command automatically? It is your job as the pet parent to help teach them new things to chew on, keep tempting things out of their reach, and to love them at least as much as they love you.

If you don't like the habits that some animals have, don't bring them into your house and get upset when they don't conform. They didn't ask to be there but you promised them a loving home.

**I originally published this here:

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