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Dr. Julia Becker


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Serving the greater Waco, TX area, including Woodway, Hewitt, Lorena, Bellmead, Robinson, and China Spring.

Is it okay to clone your pet?

Posted by Dr. Becker Thursday, February 9, 2012

Dog 

The new TLC Special, “I Cloned My Pet” tells the stories of people who choose to clone their pets.  One participant on the show, Danielle, chose to pay $50,000 to clone her beloved dog named Trouble.

 

The ability to clone a pet is relatively new.  In the past, people simply expected to have their pets for a limited amount of time, knowing that their pets would eventually die.  As science has advanced, people now have the opportunity to attempt to hold on to their pets through cloning.  But is this healthy?  Aside from the huge financial cost of cloning pets, there may be emotional costs as well. 

 

Greif is a normal part of life.  Often children first learn about death through the death of a family pet.  Learning to cope with these losses can help prepare them to deal with future losses, including deaths of family and friends.  It is important for parents to be able to talk to their children about death.  Parents who choose to clone their pets may be sending confusing messages to their children, which is likely to interfere with the normal grieving process.

 

People who clone their pets are probably not allowing themselves to go through the normal grieving process.  Instead of grieving the death of their pet, they are attempting to hold on to their pet and replace it with a new one.  Cloned pets are not exactly the same as the original pet.  They may have different personalities, behavioral tendencies, and even physical characteristics.

 

Many people love their pets.  Some people love their pets so much that they cannot imagine life without their beloved pet.  They may go to extreme measures to clone the pet, including going into debt to pay for the cloning.  They may also experience sadness, disappointment, and even depression when the new pet is not similar enough to the old pet.  

 

Pets are great companions, and their presence offers many emotional benefits for people.  Cloning a pet who has died may interfere with the normal grieving process, as well as create high stress due to financial strain and unfulfilled expectations.  People who benefit from the love of pets are not limited to only loving their deceased pet or a clone.  There are many shelter pets who need to be adopted and have the potential to greatly enhance the lives of their owners.

 

Please visit Becker Counseling and Psychological Services for more information.

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