Things to Consider Before You Choose a Pet

Making the choice to bring a pet into your home is an incredibly rewarding decision.  Sharing your life with these furry family members will bring you so much joy and long-lasting love.  That’s why choosing the right pet for you and your family is so important.  Whether you’re looking to bring home a sweet little kitten or an adorable pup, it’s important to know what you’re getting into.

Before you bring home your new pet, it’s best to do a little research and self-reflection.  Take some time to ask yourself what kind of pet-person you are, or what kind of pet would do well in your home.  Learn as much as you can about the different types and breeds in order to best choose one that will suit, not only your needs, but your lifestyle.  After all, it’s not a one-size-fits-all kind of deal.  This is a living, breathing, loving family member that you’ll be bringing home.

Picking the right pet for you may take a little time.  Each animal is different and will require different care.  You have to consider everything from type and breed to feeding habits, personalities, behavioral traits, and size (will that 250 pound English Mastiff fit into your 400-square foot apartment?), as well as how much it’s going to cost you and how much of your time it will demand. 

If you’re prepared and know what you’re in for, then choosing your pet will be a very easy, happy and exciting experience.  Your new pet will be happy, too!  Preparation really does make all of the difference and will make for a stress-free transition, starting your relationship off on the right foot. 

So, as you consider what type of pet you’ll be bringing home, take a moment to ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Is your home environment even suitable for a pet?  Do you have enough space for a dog to run around, or do you only have enough room for a cat?  Can you live with the inevitable pet hair?  Will a litter box bother you?  Can you handle the wear-and-tear that pets might wreak on your furniture and other household items? 
  • Are you allowed to have a pet?  If you don’t own your home, will you have permission to keep a pet in your space? 
  • Do you have enough space?  Whether it’s a cat or a dog (or a bird, snake, hamster, etc.), you will need the space to house them.  Do you need a yard?  Will a pet have enough room for a happy and healthy lifestyle?
  • What kind of lifestyle do you have?  Do you have enough time to spend caring for a pet?  Do you travel away from home for long periods of time?  Are you outdoors and really active?  Are you more sedentary? 
  • Are you financially prepared for the responsibility of a pet?  Can you afford expensive medical care in the event of an emergency?  Can you afford regular veterinary care? 
  •  Will you need a secondary caregiver?  If you’re away from home, do you have someone that you can call to watch your pet?  Can you afford pet boarding if no one is available? 
  • Will everyone in your home welcome a new pet?  How will a pet affect the other members of your family? 

No matter what kind of pet you decide to bring home, the most important thing is that you have enough love in your heart to share with your new family member.  Pet ownership can be challenging, but it is incredibly rewarding.  Just remember that every decision that you make will affect your pet.  So, choose wisely, and consider their needs from every angle. 

 

Featured photo credit: JHGUSA via Pixabay, cc

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