In a perfect pet world, we can adopt a farm full of animals, saving them from a life in the shelter. We envision having every breed of pup and kit, and some small mammals, reptiles, birds, and where do we even begin! Some pet owners understandably want to open their doors to as many pets as they can, but is there a limit to how many a person can handle?
The team at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital is here to explore the line between having a full house versus hoarding.
The Signs of Having Too Many Pets
Most of us know at least one pet owner who has more pets than they can handle, or are verging on this fact. It could be the neighbor who collects stray cats or someone in the family who just can’t have enough Chihuahuas. You may even be asking yourself if you have too many pets.
There is no absolute answer to this question because each situation is unique. Some pet owners make it their mission to adopt several pets, as they have the space, finances and time to help this many. Laws also regulate how many pets and how kinds of pets a person can own, and this is often done by municipality. Ultimately, though, there are a few factors that illuminate how many pets is healthy.
Here are some warning signs when you have too many pets.
- You are financially unable to meet their needs. This is one of the most apparent signs that you have too many pets to handle. Caring for your pets’ needs means being able to cover the cost of food, supplies, toys and treats, and veterinary care. We understand there are times when money is tight, or when the unexpected pet emergency arises, but if you consistently can’t afford to care for your pets, there may be a problem.
- You don’t have the space. Having large breed dogs in a tiny apartment, or several cats in a studio may limit your pets’ health. Each pet has its own space needs according to size, breed, species, and lifestyle, and being restricted with their space or ability to display normal behaviors can limit their quality of life. One too many pets in cramped quarters is also unsanitary and unhealthy.
- You may lose your rental. If you are a renter, having too many pets is prohibitive to finding housing. One of the biggest causes of eviction is too many pets in the home or apartment. If you are worried about your lease or are hiding animals, then you may have too many pets.
- Other people are concerned. Another red flag is when friends and family have mentioned concern over the number of pets you have. Yes, we understand that sometimes those who don’t love and care for pets don’t understand where we are coming from, but if you get questions about the safety and well-being of the pets in your care, you might have too many.
- When it is unsafe. If by having so many pets, fights or health problems between the pets begin to develop, you may need to look at how many you have. Too many pets create stress and anxiety in pets, and this sometimes leads to fights and other problem behaviors.
Ultimately, how many pets a person should have is an individual thing. It would be great if we could all adopt as many as we can handle, but setting some limitations can be better for the pets who are in your care. If you have any questions about your pets, or would like to schedule an appointment, please do not hesitate to call.
If you have any questions about your pets, or would like to schedule an appointment, please do not hesitate to call.