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Are You Ready for a Petpet?


by headtotoe

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Making the decision to get a Petpet is one of the biggest choices in a Neopet's life. Though every Neopet knows the devotion, loyalty, and joy a Petpet can bring into a life, there are responsibilities that accompany the acquisition of one of these furry friends. How, then, do you know that you are prepared to add another member to the family? What are some of the responsibilities that you can expect to have? This guide will clarify some of these questions, and point out some misconceptions, about looking after your next potential best friend.

You Are Their Best Friend

Possibly the most important thing to know about taking on a Petpet is that you are, without ifs, ands, or buts, their best friend. You are the Neopet they will run to when they are happy, scared, angry, tired, energetic, or any myriad of other emotions. What this means is that, before you get a Petpet, you have to assess whether you have the time and energy to take on a dependent being. Some questions that can help clarify your capacity to serve as your Petpet's best friend include: how often are you out of the Neohome during the day? Do you find yourself drained when you return home from work, to the extent that you just want to relax and don't want to look after your Petpet? Will you become bitter about spending time with your Petpet in lieu of playing, say, that 100th game of Meerca Chase II? Though there are no real right or wrong answers to these questions, if you find that you don't have a lot of time outside of your current activities, it might be best to wait until you get a Petpet.

Continuing on that train of thought, it's best to remember that getting another Petpet or a Petpetpet to keep your Petpet entertained is not a solution to this problem. Though your Petpet will enjoy spending time with other tiny critters, they live to spend time with you. You, their owner, are so cool. In fact, you are never uncool! Your Petpet thinks that you light up every room you enter and, though another Petpet is nice for a little game outside, hanging out with them will never replace spending time with you. That's because spending time with you is just so cool.

This is also why your Petpet won't just take off with some friends to give you some alone time. You are their social activity! You are their best friend! If you consider that responsibility burdensome, it might be best to put off getting a Petpet. The bottom line here is that, since you are your Petpet's best friend, you need to be able to hang out with them on a consistent basis.

Find that Extra Bit of Energy (or don't get a Petpet)

Because your Petpet relies on you, you need to have the energy to keep up with them. Though some Petpets can sleep up to 20 hours a day, their day doesn't really start until YOU walk in the door. So if you get a Petpet, you need to make sure that you have an extra bit of energy at the end of most days that you can expend on playing, walking, and hanging out with your Petpet. If you don't do this, you will be doing your Petpet a great disservice as, though you have led an exhausting and productive day, your Petpet has spent it waiting for you. This is because, though your Petpet loves activities, they don't have the independent capacity to do these activities on their own. They depend on you to organize the activities, and then to participate in these activities with them. These activities don't need to be intricate, or long-lasting. They can be as simple as chasing the Petpet around the yard as they run around with their favourite stick. Whatever you end up doing, you need to remember that, though this is only a small part of your day, it is the peak of your Petpet's day.

It's Not All Fun and Games!

Discipline. We are all hate receiving it, and we all hate giving it. But sometimes your Petpet is going to act in inappropriate or disrespectful ways. When these situations arise, you are not going to be able to sit down with your Petpet and explain why things must be a certain way, or describe the way that they should be acting. Well, you can try, but it might not have the intended effect, as your Petpet will probably just look up at you with a dopey expression on their face. They may even wag their tail (if they have one) in the process, because they are spending time with you. And you are too cool!

When these situations arise, you are going to need to respond with immediate, direct,discipline. Saying something like "no!" when your Petpet nibbles on your hand, or "stop!" when your Petpet tries to steal that dirty sock out of your laundry basket will be the most effective. There are two reasons for this. The first is that it relays your displeasure at their actions and, because you are so cool, the Petpet will understand that doing that action again isn't cool. Though they may forget later on, and you will have to remind them. The second, and more important thing, is that you are responding to the action immediately. Forgetting instructions isn't the only thing your Petpet will forget: they will also forget the naughty things they've done. They will only connect the naughty action with the displeased response if the two things happen close together. What this means is that you need to be around to explain to your Petpet what is good, and what is bad, behaviour. If you aren't around, your Petpet may never learn, and may grow up to be a dependent terror. This is to be avoided at all costs!

So it breaks down to three interrelated things: you need to be around, you need to have energy, and you need to discipline. If you can't uphold these three responsibilities, it is not the right time for you to get a Petpet.

I don't want to make getting a Petpet seem strenuous. There are so many fun things you can do with your Petpet and, if you nurture the relationship, you will also have a new best friend. If you are up to doing your best, and keep some of the points in this article in mind, getting a Petpet will be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.

Still doubtful? Just ask my Neopet, Kalnokie.

"I love Humbug, my Mibblie!" Kalnokie gushes.

Of course you do. Because Petpets are awesome.

 
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