There is nothing quite like the company and love of a pet (or several!) but that doesn’t mean that you should immediately rush to the nearest pet store, breeder, or animal shelter! Owning a pet is a huge responsibility and it’s important that you get the right pet for your family and circumstances. Before you get a pet, here’s what you need to know.
Is It the Right Time?
The first thing that you need to decide if it really is the right time to get a pet. To help you determine this, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you have enough time to exercise and care for your pet?
- Can you afford the costs of keeping a pet, including any unexpected vet bills? (Remember to take into account food, worming, flea treatments, leads and toys, grooming, microchipping, annual vet checks etc)
- Are you prepared to keep your pet for its entire lifetime?
- Do you have the time and are you willing to train your pet as necessary?
- If you move a lot, can your pet come with you? (You don’t want to have to give your pet up because it’s not allowed in your rental etc)
Which Pet is Right for You?
When it comes to choosing a pet, you can get a cat or a dog, or you could get something a little different such as fish, birds, rabbits, hermit crabs, lizards, guinea pigs, and so on. There is a perfect pet for everyone but each person has different requirements from their pets so use the following list to help you determine which pet is right for you:
- What sort of temperament do you want your pet to have – lively, active, couch potato, cuddly, happy to be left alone? There’s no point getting a really active Bengal if you want a quiet, cuddly cat, for example!
- How much time do you have to devote to your pet? Some only need their food and water changed daily while others will require an hour or more of exercise a day to remain healthy. With our increasingly busy lives, this is something to consider.
- Are their kids in your family? If so, look for a pet that is suitable for the ages your kids are at the moment. Some pets don’t do well with young kids at all while others are perfect for them.
- Do you like cleaning? If you don’t, don’t go for a breed or pet that is notorious for shedding fur or making a huge mess of their living areas.
There’s nothing worse than bringing your new pet home and then finding that you don’t have everything that you need for them! Once you have decided on your pet, make sure you’ve bought all of your supplies, which could include such things as:
- A supply of good quality pet food appropriate for your pet
- Flea and worming treatments