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Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Other Side Of Pet Ownership

There's often something that pet owners don't consider when they get a pet, especially if they have multiple pets.  Cleaning!  Pets can be loving, fun, interesting companions, but they can't pick up after themselves.  Which means that we the owners get to do that.  And yes, I had a big day of doing that today, which is why this came to mind.

Today I had to clean a betta tank, remove and replace bedding in a rat tank, clean the cats' litter box, and clean out the bearded dragon tank.  Doing all of that took me the better part of an hour, and wasn't the most pleasant work.  However, in the mini-zoo we have in our house it's a necessity and one you can only put off for so long before conditions get unhealthy.

I'm not sure many people consider this less-than-pleasant aspect of having animals in the home.  You have to clean up waste, keep them clean (I had to give my beardie a bath today), and pick up messes that they may make with chewing and scratching around the house.  Pets are still less maintenance than children, but they aren't completely maintenance-free.  This is especially true with caged pets such as birds, rodents, and reptiles where you have an enclosure that must be cleaned and you can't train them to eliminate in a specific place.

Still, it's an acceptable trade-off as far as I'm concerned, and the price we pay to have the joy of pets around us.


  1. In my work at an animal shelter, I'm often a little surprised about some of the comments I hear from potential adopters. I have heard people bicker over who will clean litter boxes, who will pick up after the dog, or heaven forbid if an animal soils in the house. There are some people who say that if an animal makes a mess in the house they will bring it back -- Why do they want a pet, exactly?

    Then their are those people who must keep their houses so pristine that there is no way an animal could possibly live INSIDE the house. Even worse, those who abandon an animal because they built a new house or redid the floors and can't have a dog or cat scratching them.

    Sigh. I will just never understand those people. Is de-pooing the yard my absolute most favorite activity? Perhaps not, but nor is it something I loath. I pick up waste for the health & well-being of my animals, as well as to prevent myself from stepping in it (as my yard doubles as our agility training field).

    All living beings make messes one way or another. The love & joy my pets give me more than makes up for the time I spend cleaning up after them and it makes our time spent together more enjoyable.

    At first I thought this was going to be a post about pet people keeping clean houses. FYI, I gave that up long ago. lol

  2. I have a cat who reacts very badly to a dirty litterbox. Because I cannot be home every minute to clean up after him (or the other 3) immediately, I got an electric litterbox. It was expensive but it works very well, and it keeps both me and them happy.

    It broke down this weekend and we all suffered until the replacement part arrived...but I worked hard to keep the auxiliary litterbox as clean as possible and I swear Corey did his part to poop as little as possible so he wouldn't have to deal with it :)


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