What does it take to be a good pet owner? The answer definitely varies from person to person. One person may be comfortable leaving their dog outside to play all day while someone else prefers to carry their dog around in a purse to keep their paws clean. Are they both right? No one can say for sure, but perhaps those who studied to take care of their animals professionally might have a clue.
Reddit user, u/Vischen25, wanted to know:
Here's A Quick List
Vet assistant here. Good owners usually do the following.
- Pay for recommend tests and meds when the pet is sick.
- Have a well groomed and clean yorkie, shih tzu, cocker spaniel, ect
- Stay up to date on preventative care, like vaccines and flea and heartworm prevention.
- Follow the doctors diet advice (not feeding grain free, uneducated raw diets, or sh-t kibble).
- Stay with their pet when it is euthanized. No animal should die without their beloved owner around.
Never Let Someone's Appearance Dictate Your Thoughts
Don't let appearances fool you.
When I was a tech, I had a client come in with a dog who was sick with parvo. He had holes all over his clothes, basically looking homeless. Made an estimate for him and assumed he wouldn't pay for treatment (I've had so many clients do this and didn't help we were located at the "poor" side of town). To my surprise, he signed the estimate, left a deposit, dog stayed with us for a week and got better, and he came in every day to visit and pay. That made me happy and realized that not all people are turds towards their pets.
Asking. Always Asking.
Vet tech, not a vet. To me, one clear sign that someone is a good pet parent is when their pet is fully vetted (appropriate vaccines or titers, preventative medications, yearly or bi-annually check ups, yearly dental cleanings). Another to me is when the client asks questions about what's the best for their pet (food/diet, medications, titers vs yearly vaccines, exercise, etc). While money doesn't automatically make you a good pet parent, when the above are taken care of it indicates, to me, that they're good pet parents and their pets' needs are met.
Enough Love, Just Not Enough Education
Vet assistant here.
We had this big biker cone in with his Bassett Hound. Overweight but not bad. Happy other than "walking funny."
The Dr did the exam and the dog's nails were so long they curled down and back into the pads. Poor guy must have been in SO much pain.
I was seeing red... Yes he brought him in but my GOD how could he have left it that long!!!
I was in the room with the vet when they were showing the owner the injuries and telling him it would require sedation to trim the nails and clean the wounds.
This big burly guy started SOBBING. He said that the dog mostly rode with him on his bike, in front of him on a lambskin covering the gas tank of the bike. He would carry him everywhere not on the bike.
It really hit me then that there was nothing but love for the dog, just not enough education for the human.
Keep The Relationship Split
Controversial: I have a weird aversion to the whole '[pet] parent' thing. I generally think anyone who refers to themselves as Mummy or Dad when talking to their pet is treating them like a human.
Animals should not be treated like humans, they have their own needs and the best animal husbandry reflects that.
"We can tell when you love your pet..."
We can tell when you love your pet, the way you talk and interact with them - it's obvious. I always tell people their pets are cute/handsome/pretty (even when I don't necessarily think so) and the people's whose faces light up and smile and agree are always cute to watch. But honestly just be responsible. Get them their yearly checkups, keep up on their vaccines, when they're sick take them in right away and don't wait, when they're older get them their yearly bloodwork, and keep up on any medications they need.
And if your pet is sick and we recommend tests but you can't afford it, tell us! Sometimes there are other options or resources we know of, and sometimes we can go step by step so it's not so much at once. Oh, and please keep up on your pets dental health. I know it's expensive but the amount of people that tell me their 10 year old dog is acting like a puppy again after losing rotten teeth is astonishing.
Taking them to the vet when they clearly need to go.
My mother ignored our family dog's itchy butt for weeks. Then I brought her to stay over one night, and noticed she dragged her butt across the floor way more excessively than normal. I gave her butt a look and saw rice. Tapeworm. Told my mother that she needed to go to the vet, and she was in denial and f-cking ignored it for another week or so until she woke up in bed one morning and there were tapeworm segments everywhere in bed.
Be Ready To Let Them Go
Maybe a controversial one, but being ready to let go when the time comes. We see it all the time; pet parents who are too scared to say goodbye and keep paying for expensive treatments which can make a pet live longer, but doesn't improve their quality of life. I'm 100% behind putting up a fight and doing anything you can to save a pet's life, but living in pain is very hard and a lot to ask of an animal who can't accurately describe their pain to you.
If there's one thing I've learned it's that some people love by hanging on, and others love by letting go. It's hard, but it's usually the right thing to do.
Do You Consider Your Pets Points Of View?
The biggest thing is really do you think of things from your pets point of view. I don't care if you look up things on the internet and ask about them. You should. There are lots of different ways for pets to die/be euthanized and we do recommend a "hospice" idea that makes their end as comfortable as possible and that a lot depends on the pet and you and the pet's condition. (Maybe they'd like to be outside, for example.)
But if people think from their pets point of view, and if they spend a lot of time with them, it's a good sign. For example, if someone asks "Will my puppy get bored in their crate all day while I'm at work?" (Yes.) I feel a lot better about them than if they say, "He peed in his crate again!" without thinking "maybe he couldn't wait that long." If people go on walks with them, describe activities they like, have games with them, just ENJOY each other, that's a sign there is a real relationship there, and not just some random being lurking around your house that you're not paying attention to.
I don't mind if you treat your dog like a "person." I don't even know what that means. Should you respect them? Yes. Think about their happiness (which you are solely responsible for)? Yes. If you have in your mind that your pet, like you, gets bored, needs exercise, needs attention, likes to have fun, doesn't like feeling itchy or sick or lonely, and you are attentive to those things and getting help when necessary, that's all good!
Counterpoint: Not Everyone Can Be Present
I want to add a comment that someone is NOT a bad owner if they are unable to be with their pet when it is euthanized. I see way too many posts about how they die looking for their owner while feeling so alone and sad. This is not true. I have been present for quite a few. It's a quick procedure that is basically an overdose of sedative. My father is a veterinarian and also holds the same belief; if you are unable to be there for your pet because it will be too difficult emotionally, physically, or whatever reason, you are not a bad owner. When a pet is euthanized at our hospital, there are always at least two assistants providing love and care while the pet is euthanized if the owner is unable to make it.
Be Open And Ready To Listen
- They listen to you, instead of trying to convince you that what they read on google is true
- They can answer all your questions about what the pet eats/where it sleeps/what it does during the day
- They don't try to humanize their pet by treating it like a baby. They understand first and foremost that it's a dog/cat, not a person
Google Is Not A Veterinarian
They take your advice over google. They ask about when should they see a vet again. They know their habits. They prepare for unforeseen events (or try to). They treat them like a member of their family.
Put In Lots Of Effort
Small animal veterinarian here.
1. A willingness to listen to, and gasp maybe even follow, the recommendations I make for care, especially for routine things like vaccines, individualized dietary needs, or preventative health. I can tell when owners think they know more than I do and don't bother trying to inform and educate some who are stuck in their ways...e.g. that feeding raw meat is superior to cooked, that vaccines do more harm than good, or that Dogsnaturally.com is a reputable source of information. I love when my owners want to talk about health matters - if you have an open mind, I am a wealth of information!
2. Putting in the effort at home to care for your pet. Dogs and cats are not house ornaments. Both require socialization, interaction, some grooming, and attention. Not every pet is happy to come to see me, and I understand that, but if you don't pay attention to whether or not your pet is eating (or even what they are eating), never know what their stool looks like, and don't know what medications they are on, it makes my job a lot harder. Knowing these answers to the questions I ask shows you care!
3. Being willing to actually come see me and put in some effort when your pet is sick. Look, I'm sorry, guys. Medical care costs money. Treating your pet for free takes money away from the hospital and the people who work there. Veterinarians aren't rich, and most clinics operate on thin margins. That being said, I will do everything I can to help within your individual limits, even if it's not the best approach medically. Yes, sometimes that means in the worst cases, euthanasia for a problem that is too costly to fix but would cause nothing but pain suffering if left untreated. I understand we all have limits, and you can be a great caregiver without endless disposable income. But if you expect me to magically fix your ailing pet with no exam, no diagnostics, and get angry that we have to charge for these things to keep our doors open, you lose sympathy in my eyes.
In short, look after your pets' health, put in the effort to care for them, and try to listen to your doctor.
One additional edit: If a pet is at a healthy weight. Granted, that is not a guarantee that a pet has a great owner, nor is an owner of an overweight pet necessarily bad, but an ideal weight usually means that the owner is willing to put in the effort to keep a pet healthy!
A Sign They're NOT A Good Owner
On the flip side, a person is generally a bad pet owner if, when frightened in the vet office, their pet goes to a staff member for comfort and reassurance instead of to their owner.
Never Let The Way You Look Be How You Take Care Of Pet
I'll never forget (as an assistant) a big biker dude (tats, glasses, beard, sour expression the whole thing!) Kneeling down besides his cat who was getting his temperature checked, cupping its head in his hands and whispering "Oh baby, I know... Oh my little flower petal, I wouldn't like that too... Don't cry, it will be over soon"
And I absolutely melted for him!
Dude was scary to look at before that but after that I saw a whole different kind of person.
There's No Special Tricks. Just Listen.
Being a responsible owner is completely relative to each situation. Yes, make your preventative care appointments on time and follow all vaccine/diet/annual recommendations. But also how you treat your pet (and your vet) in less routine checkups and sick visits says a lot. People can have all the money in the world and be terrible owners. On the other hand, the way people behave and make decisions in the face of financial limitations is also really telling.
Owners that are willing to listen to me and make reasonable and informed decisions in the interest of their pet (even if we can't reach a gold standard plan) are good pet parents. You don't have to be a millionaire to be a good pet parent. Be nice to your vet and know that the health and wellbeing of your little buddy is always top priority!
I love characters I love to hate.
Even when I hate them I can always find the reason they're involved in the story, so I find it difficult to want them to be erased.
Certain characters flaws and the most heinous decisions are written to further story and bolster the audience's love for the heroes.
So as much as we loathe them, we need them; much like our enemies in real life. That is what makes compelling drama.
Redditor u/nekoandCJ wanted to spill the tea on the characters we could do without in our favorite stories by asking:
People of reddit, what fictional character do you hate with a passion?
The list is long for me. It all starts with the guy who shot Bambi's mom. Lord, to this day that is still traumatizing. But she had to go to give Bambi a story. And Michael Douglas's character in "Fatal Attraction," what a putz. He got what he deserved. But how else would we be able to sympathize with Glenn Close? Even though... well y'all get it.
Family FailHome Alone Christmas GIF by FreeformGiphy
"Kevin McCallister's uncle… "look what you did you little JERK!"
"Percy from the green mile, that freak can DIE IN THE MENTAL WARD!!"
"That was what was so good, there is a Percy in every large group and more that one in any team where failure isn't punished, like a government job working at a prison. He was a great comment on humanity."
Love Sharon Though
"Ginger from Casino."
"Major kudos to Sharon Stone, her performance made me utterly loathe that character. She was a manipulative junkie who tied her young daughter to a bed so she could go out to score. I wanted to reach through the screen and choke her."
"Loathe the character, but that performance is absolutely god-tier. Helluva an acting job. Her and Pesci just freaking nail it to the stratosphere, playing thoroughly unlikeable characters in the absolute most realistic way. Ginger is the holistic ideal of the gold-digging party girl. And Pesci is that moron Dunning-Kruger guy we all know."
"Manny from Diary of a Wimpy kid I think there's a while subreddit about that little monster."
Call a Doctor!Giphy
"Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. My favorite antagonist ever. Louise Fletcher was perfectly cast for the role, too."
Ohhhh... good choices thus far. Although, I found Sarah Paulson's Ratched more detestable. You know who else is a mess? Elmira Gulch. Love the Wicked Witch. Hate Elmira! Go figure...
True Evilthe sopranos hbo GIFGiphy
"Livia Soprano made my blood pressure rise every time she was on screen. Great acting. Mission accomplished."
"I will say, I've seen Comic-Con panels with him and his smarta** sense of humor fit Micah perfectly. He may have hated the character, but boy oh boy was he a fantastic casting choice. As were all the main cast, for that matter."
All the Drama
"When I tell you I stood up and cheered when I originally saw Heather from Total Drama Island finally get booted out of the competition. 'Twas a good day."
"Season 1 I HATED her and loved when she lost her hair. But then it was more of a love-hate relationship with her. She's a fun character. Owen, now that monster I hate. Loved him season 1, but then he just got reduced to fat guy who farts and contributes nothing."
"Craig from Malcolm in the Middle. He's a selfish, annoying coward. Like the episode where he's injured and he makes Lois drive all over town to different restaurants for him. I love when the helper monkey turns on him, that's what he gets for treating it like crap. I especially hate the episode where Hal asks Craig to help him buy a comic book for Malcolm."
"And Craig also makes Hal drive him all over town for different meals and treats and gifts, then when Hal dares to ask when they're actually going to the comic book store Craig flips out and demands to be let out of the car and says he won't help Hal anymore. Like come the hell on, I just want to slap him."
"Do you need a cough drop, Dolores?!"
"I loved Umbridge for the simple fact that she brought out McGonagall's savagery like no one else, and it was glorious."
"Voldemort is just another generic, pointlessly evil type of character that only seems to exist in fiction. Umbridge is the type of tight @ssed bureaucrat that mimics the actual villain in many average people's real lives."
This thread could be endless. So many villains and loathesome characters so little time. But Lord the drama is good!
Everyone has their own little quirks.
What's the weirdest thing you find attractive?
Perhaps the thing you find the most attractive is completely unnoticeable to the average person. As in, if you weren't looking for this one tiny, small, completely negligible thing, you would never notice it.
But these people did.
Whip It Back And Forth
"My wife had shoulder length hair for a while. Once, when I called her name and she did the hair-swish-smile thing, I just about f-cking died from cuteness."
Little Stragglies Of Cuteness
"The neck, when a woman has her hair up and those little bits of hair curl around."
"Seeing a girl have to stand on her tiptoes to do basically anything, especially to hug or kiss me.
I think it's the cutest thing ever"
Then there are those people who find things attractive that, on first viewing, someone else wouldn't see as "Wow, that's a real turn on!" However, you have refined and cultured taste. Of course you'll love it when someone's bones stick out a little bit.
"Collarbones. Can't even explain it. Just a shirt low enough to show a pronounced collarbone."
"Omgyes! Protruding collarbones and (at least imo) hipbones are crazy hot! It doesn't have to do with them being skinny though! Slightly curvy people can also have really nice defined collar- and hipbones!"
Controlling A Massive Machine
"My husband reversing the car. He puts his arm around the passenger seat and looks over his shoulder...."
"Oh, man, I love watching people drive. The arm-around-the-passenger-seat-while-reversing thing for sure, but also just people driving in general. There's just something about that focus people get when they're behind the wheel; the way their expressions are usually passive, but their eyes are attentive... oh man. I'm with you on this one for sure."
Someone Has A Thing For "Teen Wolf"
"Long canines. The teeth, not the species.
Not unnaturally long like vampire fangs, but just enough that they're longer than the rest of the teeth."
"Huh, weirdest compliment I've gotten from a guy before was that he liked my 'pointy teeth.' This was at a bar and it made my coworker do a double take."
Then there's these, which you may not have known did it for you, but after reading these there's no going back. You're hooked, now, and that's okay. Embrace the weirdness.
I See You Are Also An Individual Of Class And Substance
"Chokers, f-ck those things stir up something primal in me"
"Ah I see you also grew up in the 90s and watched buffy the vampire slayer..."
Wait, That Seems Pretty Obvi-Oh, That's Why...
"Guys who wear glasses.
For some reason I think it's sexy when we're making out and he has to take them off."
Seems Like You Like Everything They Do. Which Is Great.
"I like when women have to go pee really bad and do that dance. Yea it's weird.
Or when you successfully feed your girlfriend at the appropriate time of day and she does a little dance or starts humming a song as she's chewing.
I like watching the daily skin care routine as they furiously and rapidly circulate their little raccoon sized hands in various nonsense that I'll never understand"
Everyone is different. Everyone has different tastes. Everyone has things that speak to them. These are all perfectly acceptable, and steering into them might actually help you along as you continue your search for a viable romantic partner. Don't shy away from the things you find sexy. Embrace them. Be happy.
When we're kids, we expect the adults in our lives to notice everything, know everything, and maintain a just, sound moral order.
Psh, don't hold your breath.
Whether it's a teacher, the parent supervising a playdate, or mom and dad at home, kids expect them to have eyes on the back of their heads.
That way, when a kid gets into a spat with a peer, has something stolen, or feels a quiet emotion, the adult in the room will respond with full knowledge of all the facts at play.
But adults are just human beings with a limited bandwidth in their heads. Half the time they're doing other things when the incident goes down.
So they weigh in as best as they can with the limited info they receive--usually in the form of two screaming children pointing at one another.
Curious to learn about the times when the adult got it wrong, Redditor Butterat_Zool asked:
"What minor injustice was wrought upon you as a child that you're still salty about today?"
Many people talked about times when a prized possession was stolen, destroyed, or squandered. Sure, things are just things.
But to kids they mean a whole lot.
Covering Her Tracks
"We had a special arts and crafts week when I was about six, maybe younger. I made my dad a Christmas stocking out of clay, because I'd always thought it was unjust that he didn't have one. It was going to be my Christmas presents to him."
"I took it to the teacher to show her, and so it could be fired later. She methodically destroyed it by balling it up in her hands, and then tried to put it down to a brain fart. I was shocked, but mostly I wanted a replacement stocking, since it was meant to be a gift. I asked her to remake it for me, since she, a teacher, would be allowed to use the clay any time, but I only had a few minutes left."
"The next day I was told I'd been bad and I wasn't allowed to participate in the arts and crafts week any more, and that was that."
No Help From Pa
"When I was 4 I had a little red rocking horse necklace. It was my favourite. I wore it to a puppet show my dad took me to one day and took it off and put it beside me."
"The kid next to me picked it up and wouldn't give it back. We fought."
"My dad told her dad he didn't recognize the necklace and let her take it. I'm 45 and still salty."
In-School Pawn Shop
"Teacher took my 2ft long pencil and sold it to another student."
"Yup. A few teachers at that school sold supplies like pencils to students. It just so happened that this one was taken from me because it was 'too distracting' "
All Them Nintendos
"When I was younger I wanted a Sega Dreamcast. My parents wouldn't just buy it for me, since 'I already had enough Nintendos.' I got a job at Hollywood Video. I couldn't even drive yet, so I would ride my BMX to work in my tuxedo uniform."
"When I saved enough money, I told my parents I was going to buy it myself. They told me no. When I asked why, they said it was to teach me that I can't always get what I want, even if I can afford it."
"I bought one anyway and successfully hid it from them. Every night when I went to 'bed,' I'd hook up the Dreamcast and play as quietly as possible. I still give them sh** for that decision, but they stand by it."
Other people fixated on the times an adult embarrassed them in front of multiple people. Of all the examples given, these are enough to make you really worry about some of the people watching kids out there.
"We were on a field trip to some Washington forest and the ranger started asking about products that grow in or are made from forests."
"3rd grade me who had just discovered in some Ranger Rick article that latex rubber comes from tree trunks confidently raised my hand to share."
" 'Uh rubber from trees, now that doesn't sound right does it' and she moved onto another. 35 years later and the salt is still there."
"In 4th grade our teacher told us to write a paper about what we thought of our school, now our school wasn't great and I was homeschooled up until that year and struggling with the change so wrote about my frustrations and how I was generally unhappy with it..."
"...and she insulted me in front of everybody until the point that I cried and then told me I should get up and read the paper to the class, I refused and she made me rewrite that paper until it was positive, you know instead of trying too help me with the problems I had"
Don't Cross a Paleo Nerd
"I was failed on an essay in English class because my interpretation was incorrect. The poet was describing an airplane and they asked us to figure how what it was being interpreted or anthropomorphized as."
"I was a paleo nerd and chose a pterosaur, because the author described the engines as screeching, and heaving, wings outstretched but still, etc. This was in 6th grade and in my essay I wrote 'and pterosaurs weren't like modern birds, they certainly didn't chirp!' "
"The teacher specifically read my essay out loud to the class as an example of something bad and wrong and 'incorrect.' She also didn't know what a pterosaur was or how you say pterodactyl. Big Salt could mine me until the sun explodes."
And finally, others shared the times they found themselves doing the wrong thing, in the wrong place, at the wrong time. The adult only saw a snippet of a much broader context of behavior.
And the minimal knowledge led them to punish exactly the wrong person.
"Someone's phone went off in class, so teacher demanded that person turn their phone it. No one budges. She holds us in class for a good 20 minutes into the next period antagonizing us about this phone that rung. Eventually she let us go and warned all other teachers about this phone incident."
"My 8th period teacher then gets involved and antagonizes us all again. Said he was gonna stand out in the hall and whoever knows anything to report to him. Some kid went out there and said it was my phone. I got yelled at, got written up for Saturday detention, and later that year found out the kid who told on me was the one who's phone rung in class."
The One Time
"In kindergarten, we sat on this foam mat made out of large puzzle pieces, and we were all assigned one. My puzzle neighbor, Tommy, threw his garbage onto my square. Every time I pushed it off, he'd put it back."
"I eventually got mad and told him to knock it off, and the teacher noticed and yelled at me for throwing garbage into his square. I sat out for the rest of the day and my pin was brought down to 'bad day'. I accidentally broke his nose on the metal spider a few weeks after during tag, though."
Pulled In to the Chatter Hole
"Once a week, in kindergarten, they would pick a name of a kid who would win a toy. Only good kids could participate."
"I was alway a good kid, but not really lucky. My name got picked only once in the whole year. That day, unfortunately for me, I was next to a kid who would not shut up during the lesson. I spoke once to ask him to please stop talking. Guess who the teacher chose to punish for disturbing the lesson? That's right. Me. Didn't get my toy."
Until some kind of horrifying technology comes out that allows adults to see and know every facet of their child's existence, tiny injustices like this will proliferate.
But perhaps those couple slights are totally worth the freedom of adults that don't know everything we're up to.
Modern medicine is a marvel. It's the reason why we've been able to effectively eradicate some serious diseases and improve the quality of health care around the world. When you take these two things into consideration, it's easy to see why vaccine hesitancy can be such a frustrating topic for people right now.
Many people would not be able to survive without the benefits of modern medicine. That's what we learned after Redditor forevernostalgic23 asked the online community,
"If modern medicine didn't exist what medical condition would have died from or been severely impacted by?"
"Bad vision alone would have made me terrible at most things."
I had bad vision until my early 20s. I second this.
"I would have had a very short life..."
"I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age seven. I would have had a very short life without modern medicine."
Having known many people who live with diabetes, I am glad that they are still here.
"I probably would have died..."
"I probably would have died at 6 years old from strep throat."
This is a big one: In the past, it commonly killed many people. And guess what, it still does? The CDC estimates approximately 11,000 to 24,000 cases of invasive group A strep disease occur each year in the United States, with 1,200 to 1,900 of those cases resulting in death.
"I was born..."
"I was born with a bilateral abdominal hernia and amniotic fluid in my lungs, no way I would have survived infancy without modern medicine."
"My brother and I..."
My brother and I were bitten by a rabid farm kitten when we were 6 and 4 years old. Without the foresight of my grandfather who had the cat tested and modern medicine creating the vaccine, my parents would be childless."
Frightening! I saw Cujo as a child and that told me all I needed to know about rabies, thank you very much.
"I would have gone deaf..."
"I would have gone deaf from recurrent ear infections as a child and then died at 14 from pneumonia."
"But since that..."
"I was born two months premature, so I'd likely not survive that in an earlier era. But since that, nothing."
"Mom and Dad..."
"The way I was born. Mom and Dad had to feed me through a tube down my nose the first year and a half."
"If the recurrent..."
"If the recurrent tonsillitis didn't get me, my appendix would have been the end of me as a teen."
"Neither kiddo nor I..."
"Giving birth. Neither kiddo nor I would be alive without emergency surgery."
Amazing, right? Be grateful for modern medicine––there are new developments each and every day. And who knows what the future has in store for us? Will there be a cure for cancer? Alzheimer's disease and dementia? The sky's the limit.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments section below!