5 Discussions Families Must Have Before Buying a Pet

Families Must Have Before Buying a Pet


If you’re considering buying or adopting a pet, there are a bunch of family discussions that need to take place before finalizing your decision. And we’re not talking about who gets the coveted privilege of naming rights. We’re talking about real, sit-down discussions that need to take place before bringing a pet into your home, so it brings you more joy than frustration.

Without further ado—here are five discussions every family needs to have before buying a pet. 

What Type of Pet Should You Get? 

Probably the most important discussion you need to have before deciding to buy a pet is: which pet? While this sounds like a pretty simple decision to make, it’s one that can get really complicated really quickly. 

Aspects like allergies, the amount of space you have available and how much attention a pet needs must be considered when narrowing down your options of which pet to buy. 

Dogs are the most popular choice of pet in South Africa because they’re not only a companion but also a security precaution. They’re also a huge responsibility and you have to consider whether your family can cope with that.

Other popular types of pets include: 

  • Cats 
  • Birds
  • Fish 
  • Hamsters 
  • Bunnies 
  • Bearded dragons
  • Tortoises 
  • Snakes 
  • African pygmy hedgehogs

Who Will be the Pet’s Primary Caregiver? 

Having a pet is a huge responsibility and more often than not that responsibility falls onto one person’s shoulders. For example, kids will often beg their parents for a pet and will promise they’ll look after it until they turn blue in the face. But how often does that happen? It’s important to know straight from the get-go who will be the primary caregiver of the pet to avoid any arguments down the line. 

Depending on the age of your children, you can still include some basic pet-related tasks on their chores list—but be prepared to end up doing most of the work yourself, regardless.

What Will Happen When You Go on Vacation? 

With life getting more stressful for South Africans more people use holidays as escape time. But a factor that would-be pet owners often overlook is who will look after their pet when they’re not able to.  

Luckily pet owners can enjoy their holiday break without worrying about their furry friends by taking advantage of the pet sitters Johannesburg has to offer. Before adopting a pet, you should consider how often you and your family go on holiday & make sure that you can afford to have your pet looked after while you’re away.  

Can You Afford to Get a Pet?

The truth of the matter is that getting a pet is expensive. You’ll need to pay an adoption fee and fork out the cash to shop up a storm at your local pet supply store to make sure your home is ready for its fluffy addition. 

But that’s not where the expenses stop. Certain pets require vaccinations, deworming and sterilization, while others will require special food & supplements to keep them healthy. 

Because visits to the vet are so expensive in South Africa, many pet owners opt for an insurance policy for their pet—which is yet another expense.  

Will A Pet Fit in With Your Family’s Lifestyle? 

Nobody wants to feel like they’re not the ‘ideal’ person to own a pet but unfortunately, some people’s lifestyle just isn’t compatible with being a pet owner. 

Common examples of people who typically struggle to fit a pet into their lives include:

  • People who live in apartment buildings, complexes and second-story units are often not permitted to have pets 
  • Parents with young children can’t always keep up with the added responsibility of looking after their pets
  • Professionals who frequently travel for business will struggle to spend quality time with their pets and will often rely on pet sitters or family members to handle their responsibilities 
  • Those who aren’t aboard the #ImStaying train shouldn’t even consider getting a pet if they can’t afford to take it with when they emigrate  

Final Thoughts 

As you can see, a lot of thought needs to go into making the decision to adopt a pet. So, before you go ahead and add a new member to the family, make sure that your existing family members know what’s in store. 

Do you have any advice that you’d like to share with would-be pet owners? Leave them a comment for the benefit of people AND animals.


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