When the kids are begging you to get a pet, it’s hard to resist the temptation. But having a pet is a big responsibility, and not everyone can handle the time and effort pet ownership demands. Pets are indeed wonderful, but in some cases, they’re just not the right addition to your family and household.
With that in mind, here are some things to consider before getting a pet. Think through everything carefully and weigh up the pros and cons to ensure you are making the right decision, whether you choose to go ahead or not.
Research The Idea
Before you can start planning for your pet or narrowing down the type of animal you want, the best thing you can do is conduct thorough research. Take your time over this; there are plenty of resources available, and you can also speak to experts such as those at Salt Water Animal Hospital for pet health advice.
Remember that getting a pet is a long-term commitment, and you need to know exactly what you’re getting into and how to take good care of them before you go ahead and adopt an animal. Ideally, this research should be carried out with the entire household, as getting a pet should be a joint decision.
However, if the children are young or you think they would get too excited about the idea and not really think things through, leave it to the adults. When you have made your decision, you can then bring the children in to discuss the responsibilities of caring for the family pet and ensure everyone knows what the job entails. Everyone needs to take part in caring for the pet, after all.
When you’re thinking about getting a pet, you have to be completely honest about whether it would fit in with your lifestyle. If it won’t, you may need to look at other ways of enjoying animals; you could volunteer at a shelter or walk a neighbor’s dog instead, for example.
You also need to think about the cost of owning a pet. The cost isn’t just about buying the pet initially if you’re purchasing from a breeder; you also need to ensure you can afford everything thereafter. Pet insurance, vet bills, food bills, and pet necessities like beds, toys, leashes, bowls, and other essentials all cost money – and they’re ongoing costs throughout your pet’s life. Plus, if your pet were to suddenly develop a serious illness or suffer an injury and needed an unexpected and expensive vet visit, would you be able to afford it? These are critical considerations you need to think about before getting a pet.
What’s more, you also need to consider whether you’re at home often enough. If you work away all day, will the pet need a sitter? Do you intend to leave them alone? This is not such an issue for smaller animals like guinea pigs or fish, but for dogs, for example, it’s may be a bad idea.
Think about how you live now and what might have to change if you got a pet – and how each different type of pet would make a different impact. When you have these answers, you’ll know if it’s the right choice for you.
Choosing The Right Pet
Every kind of pet has pros and cons, so it’s important to consider them before choosing one. Dogs and cats are perhaps the most popular choice and the first thing you’ll think of, but they need a lot more care and work than smaller animals.
For instance, guinea pigs are excellent pets for kids, beginners, and those who don’t have as much time to spare in the day because they are friendly and easy to take care of. Gerbils and hamsters are also fairly easy to care for, and they’re super cute; however, because they are so small, your kids will need assistance caring for them as they can be easy to lose in the house.
Whatever the case, make sure that everyone in your family likes the pet you choose and will want to spend time with it and take care of it. If someone won’t go near a lizard, spider, or snake in the house, for example, there’s not much point in having one. If it’s going to be a family pet, everyone needs to like it!