The Perils of An Only Pet
We can deny it no longer. The face of good ol' Neopia is changing. Inflation is starting to take its toll, and many of today's items are getting very expensive. Food is starting to get pricey if you are feeding multiple pets. Even the most basic of paintbrushes are double the price that they were last year at this time. Add that and the new need for clothing for your pets, and living in Neopia starts to become pricier than it was before. This makes feeding and taking care of multiple pets more expensive.
Because of the extra expenses, many Neopians are opting for a single pet family.
Having only one pet means you get to devote all of your attention on only one pet. Many single pet owners spend their time playing games and restocking to earn neopoints to lavishly spoil their only pets.
And spoil they do.
With only one pet to take care of, single pet owners make sure that their pet is treated like a king or queen. With only one paintbrush to buy, only pets are often painted with expensive paintbrushes. Ever notice that most single pet owners have baby, royal, or maraquan pets? Most only pets have been zapped, and as a result, have outrageously high stats. Without any pets waiting for their turn to be zapped, an only pet can continue to be zapped until all of their stats are maxed out. All only pets have expensive, matching petpets and petpetpets. Their description and petpage have beautiful custom designs. They are usually very well-read, and have a few beauty contest trophies under their belt. Now that we have customization options, you can bet that they have the most expensive and latest fashions. Their neohome rooms are done-up to perfection, and they never have to share their toys.
Yes, having only one pet can have its perks. You only have one pet to feed and look after. This can result in more free time to roam around Neopia, and more time to work on petpages and Neopian Times articles. You can focus on all aspects of Neopia, not just the pet part. Best of all, your neohome will always be tidy because cleaning up after one pet is easier than cleaning up after four of them. Your only pet will become your closest buddy. Why wouldn't they? They are your only pet!
But while having one pet has its perks, it also has its perils. What perils, you ask? Your pet can get very lonely. After all, they'll have no one else to play with. Your neohome will be awfully quiet during the day. Your only pet will not have an older brother or sister to look up to, or a younger sibling to look after.
But the biggest downfall of only one pet is the risk that your pet will get very spoiled.
"But my pet is not spoiled!" you say in nervous laughter.
Maybe yours is not, but most are. Your pet is used to getting everything he or she desires. The most expensive paintbrush is just a few well planned auctions and games away. They never have to share their toys, or care for a younger sibling when you're away. They always get it their way because they have no one else to compete or compromise with.
But who wants a spoiled pet?
Watch For Signs
You'll know if your pet is spoiled if he or she displays three or more of the following signs.
-Inability to share willingly
-Unappreciative behaviour (examples: not saying thank you, asking for very expensive items, taking gifts for granted or displaying outright disapproval of certain gifts)
-Complaining about gifts or food
-Unappreciative of toys or getting bored of toys quickly
-Is used to getting things their way
-Has trouble with empathy
-Begins looking down on others
-Exhibits any type of rude behaviour repeatedly
-Begins having tantrums when he or she doesn't get their way
These are just a few of the most common signs of a spoiled pet. If you've come to the conclusion that your only pet is spoiled, you do not need to worry yourself!There are a few surefire ways to teach your only pet to be more grateful and count its blessings.
Some suggestions are:
1. Take your pet to the Soup Kitchen to help out. Most only pets come from a financially better off family, and is used to eating gourmet foods on a more regular basis. By having them help out at the Soup Kitchen a few times a week, they'll realize just how good they have it. Not only will they be more grateful for their cushioned life, but they will also be more empathetic to less fortunate Neopians. In the long run, both you and your pet will be much happier.
2. Have your pet do a few more chores in the house. They'll learn that sometimes they have to work for what they want. Does your pet want another new plushie? Have them make their bed each morning until you think that they have earned it. By not having everything handed to them, your pet will be more grateful for what they have, and what they've asked for. But be careful! If you make your pet work too hard or too long for something, your pet may become angry. This lesson will not work and you'll have an angry pet on your hands. Try to balance out the amount of chores required for a certain toy. If your pet wants a simple plushie, they'll have less chores to do for it than if they wanted a more expensive item.
3. Limit the amount of gifts you buy for your pet. If your pet gets everything they ask for, you are definitely going to have a spoiled pet. If something is too expensive or very unnecessary, don't buy it. You can say no. This will teach your pet to value what it has, as well as the value of neopoints.
4. You may want to think about getting another pet. This may take some serious thought, and some serious getting used to by both of you, but another sibling will teach your pet very good lessons. He or she will learn how to share, take care of another pet other than themselves, and better values. Your pet won't be lonely anymore. You will also be entertained with giving your new pet all of the things your other pet has. Be careful not to favour one over the other, though! That will create rivalry, which is something that you really do not want. A great place to find a new sibling is the pound. There are hundreds of pets waiting for a new home there. If you've given it some serious thought, plan an afternoon visit to the pound to pick up your new pet. It would be best to let your pet share in joy of picking a new sibling. Your pet should be as involved with the choice as you are. This will make both of you happier, as well as ease the transition of only pet to older pet. After all, both of you have to live with your decision!
There you have it folks. I hope that I've given you the information you need to avoid the biggest peril of an only pet.
Until next time,