Now that you have decided to give a pet a home by adding to your family, there are important decisions to make. Choosing a pet isn’t an easy task but one that should be made following thorough consideration.
For those who don’t have previous experience of owning a pet, the process can seem daunting. While owning a pet can be an incredibly exciting experience, it is important to ensure that your home caters to their needs. The complexity of an animal’s needs can differ between species.
Conducting thorough research and visiting pet care websites should help your choice. We have outlined some important factors that can determine which pet is right for your family.
Consider your lifestyle
First and foremost, you must consider your lifestyle and whether a pet is going to be compatible with your daily schedule. Regardless of whether you are looking to get a dog or a hamster, they each demand your time in some way. If you work in a job that follows a 9 to 5 schedule on most days of the week it is important to consider how much time your pet is going to be spending alone.
Younger animals like puppies, in particular, are going to require training. Expecting a puppy to be cooped up indoors all day alone may lead to chewed-up furniture and carpets. As for cats, remember that many prefer to be outdoors and so they will require outdoor access throughout the day.
Remember to consider your lifestyle outside of work. While work consumes many individuals Monday to Friday lifestyles, many then like to use their weekends to enjoy getaways or meetups with friends and family and so it is important to evaluate whether a pet would fit into this. If they can accompany you on your strips, this is unlikely to be a concern, however, if this isn’t the case you will need to have arrangements in place to ensure that their care is prioritized.
Owning a pet isn’t cheap – remember the costs
A pet can be a hefty financial investment, regardless of its size. Not only are there the day-to-day costs to account for such as food, toys, and general care supplies, but there are also pet insurance fees and the costs of vet bills. If you’ve chosen to use a dog walking service or a pet sitter then these services are going to rack up your additional costs too.
Before considering which pet is right for your family, assess your financial situation and do some sums so you have an estimation of the expected expenses.
Try and Adopt before you shop
As I’m sure most of us are aware, there are thousands of pets sitting in rescue shelters awaiting their forever home. Although you may have your eyes set on a particular breed of puppy or cat etc, it is worth paying a visit to a rescue center to see whether there is an animal there which you could provide a loving home.
Visiting a rescue shelter can also be useful for gathering information and accessing support regarding the best pet for your family. If you have a particular breed in mind and you don’t wish to stray away from this, you may be able to contact specific rescue centers to enquire whether they have this breed available.
Household dynamics – do you have children and existing pets
Consider the dynamics of your household. Some animals will fit into your home better than others. If you have children you will need to ensure that your pet is going to be suitable for their age and safe in their company. Also, consider any existing pets that you have. Some animals are very sociable and flourish when they are in the company of other animals, however, others are more territorial and less receptive to new pets imposing their boundaries.
What animal would fit into your lifestyle?
After considering our previously mentioned factors, you may now find it easier to narrow the choice of pets down to a specific animal. If you have decided that a dog would fit into your lifestyle, it is important to consider the breed, as the needs and temperaments can differ drastically depending on this. Some dogs require a lot of exercise and others have fur types that make them better options for families with allergies. Cats tend to be more independent but this doesn’t mean that they don’t have requirements that need to be met. Can you cater to their grooming requirements and outdoor needs? Smaller animals tend to be great for families who are new pet owners, although they still have needs and require interaction and socialization to be happy.
Don’t rush into your decision
Remember not to rush into your decision. Although it can be tempting when you’ve seen a cute pet to visualize them joining your family, you mustn’t rush into your purchase as this could risk you making the wrong choice. Impulse buying can see many people introducing pets to their homes only to realize shortly after that they are incompatible with their lifestyle and family dynamic. Ensure that you conduct thorough research beforehand and seek advice as and when you require.