How many pets is too many?

With so many animals needing homes, it can be very hard for some people to decide when they have gotten to the point where they can’t take anymore into their households.

There are many different reasons that pet owners reach their limits on the number of pets they should have. Some are due to the owners themselves and some are due to the animals they have in their care.

Owners need to keep in mind the commitment required when owning pets. Expenses are a big issue. Not only is there the cost of food but there is also a long list of supplies that pets need. Multiple cats require multiple litter boxes and they will go through a lot of kitty litter especially as they get older and begin to have health issues like kidney disease or diabetes.

Exotic pets require special cages, lighting, and heating which can cost quite a bit to set up and keep running. All pets require veterinary care throughout their lives and the amount of care increases as they get older. It can be difficult and expensive to care for multiple pets that all get old at the same time which is something that may not be have been thought of at the time these pets were taken in at a young age.

There is also a big time commitment for each pet, with some requiring much more time than others. For example, birds demand a significant amount of attention because of how socially interactive they are with their owners. Without this attention, they can develop bad behavioral issues like feather picking. Their cages also need to be cleaned very frequently and, of course, the bigger the bird, the bigger the cage and the bigger the mess.

Giving all pets the attention they need can be a full-time job and if owners already have full-time jobs this can be hard to do. If the house and the pets cannot be kept cleaned then behavioral and health issues can occur which in turn causes more work for the pet owner.

Too many pets can create a number of issues among the pets themselves. High numbers of dogs and cats living in one house can increase the risk of having behavioral issues. Aggression between dogs or cats goes up in relation to the number of each that are present. Aggression also gets worse when these pets are forced to live in a small area together. They become territorial and fight over food, furniture, and even the owner’s attention. Cats are more likely to urinate or defecate outside the litter box if there are too many cats sharing litter boxes that get soiled quickly.

So when deciding on whether to add another pet to your family, remember what it takes to care for a pet from its first days to its last days. And also remember that two of the leading causes of euthanasia in dogs and cats are aggression and inappropriate urinating and defecating in the home. It is wonderful to give these animals a home but we also need to make sure they will be happy and healthy in that new home.

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