What Does it Mean to Be a Pet Owner?
by NW Vet Staff
In celebration of National Pet Owner's Day and National Pet Parents Day, I was asked to write a short piece on what it means to be a pet owner. At first, the task seemed overwhelming as the question seemed so broad. I wasn’t asked what it meant to be a “good” pet owner, or “responsible” pet owner: just simply a pet owner.
There are so many different types of pet owners with different types of pets, different lifestyles, different life stages, different core values, and the list of differences goes on. How can I speak for so many different people? I cannot. However, I can speak to the thread of experiences that I’ve seen all pet owners have in common - at least the experiences that I’ve had the privilege to bear witness to over the years as a veterinarian.
Each pet owner has the opportunity to build a unique relationship with an individual pet. They experience undivided devotion and unconditional love from their pet. They experience joy and they experience sadness. Their pet is part of their day-to-day life, sometimes as part of the daily routine, sometimes as the spotlight of attention. They hold a position of responsibility and caregiving over the welfare and wellbeing of one who doesn’t have a say in what happens to them. More often than not, at some point during a pet owner’s relationship with their pet, there is personal sacrifice for the benefit of the other.
Being a pet owner means commitment. In return, our pets provide the opportunity to directly indulge in a delightful part of life that would otherwise be closed off to us: the human animal bond. As you dedicate yourself to this commitment, we make a commitment to you: to stand by your side, through the times of happiness as well as the moments of tears, as we celebrate and cherish the privilege of sharing our lives with our pets.
Lina N. Mohamed, DVM
Assistant Medical Director
Northgate Veterinary Clinic