People have kept animals as pets throughout history, and it’s no real surprise. They can provide companionship, fun, interest and so much more. Having said that, not all pets are suited for everyone. Perhaps you feel it’s time that you got yourself a pet, but are unsure how to choose. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the key things you need to think about before you decide.
Do Some Research
There are many specialist websites that can help you determine which animal is right for your lifestyle and personality. They can also provide information on what taking care of that animal will entail. Another great resource would be blogs written by people who have actually adopted or raised the type of animal you’re interested in. They’ll be able to give you tons of first-hand advice about caring for it and what to expect from the experience.
Once you’ve decided on an animal you can make your Google searches even more specific. If you’re interested in Chinchilla behavior and temperament you can watch quick videos and discover their personality traits. It’s possible to learn about everything from chewing, biting, and aggression to handling, pregnancy, and noise. You should also seek advice from those who’ve already owned a similar pet to the one that you’re considering. This could be a friend, colleague, or pet store owner/breeder.
Think About Your Availability
Ask yourself how much time you would have to take care of the pet every day. Think about your work schedule, life events, and any other activities that would impact this. Decide whether you are willing and able to provide the appropriate food, water, shelter, maintenance, love and attention etc. that this pet would need.
Think about such things as the need to employ a dog walker or cattery/dog kennels when you are away. If a certain species of dog is likely to experience separation anxiety, think again if you can’t be there for it. In contrast, you may be a lonely person who would love nothing more than spending your time with a new pet.
Think About Costs
Here are some of the possible expenses you may encounter:
- the initial cost of the pet
- general ongoing expenses, such as food, toys, bedding, equipment
- cattery or dog kennel fees
- veterinary fees, including regular checkups, medical treatment and vaccinations
- licensing fees
If your budget is not able to cover all the necessary costs, it might be better if you consider choosing another type of animal. Alternatively, find some extra ways to raise the cash or wait until you have enough money saved up.
Think About Your Energy Levels
It’s important to pick a pet that you can handle. If you choose a dog, make sure you can cope with taking it for walks every day. Do plenty of research because the requirements can vary widely between the different breeds.
If you’ve been out all day at work, you won’t want to get home and find that your dog has destroyed everything because it was bored. If you don’t want to go out in the cold and the rain, perhaps you should settle for a cat or something else.
Think About Allergies
If you or any of your family members are allergic to animals, it’s best to steer clear of owning one. Allergy symptoms can range from sneezing and watery eyes to a full-blown Asthma attack. It’s important to be aware that allergies can be caused by fur or feathers, saliva, or urine.
Another factor to consider is whether the animal will molt. Pets that have a lot of hair (e.g. dogs and cats) tend to lose their fur in clumps. This can cause respiratory problems in people who are sensitive to pet dander. Molting happens twice a year for many animals and it may be necessary to groom it frequently during this time (if their coat doesn’t shed out naturally).
Think About Your Home
Before you bring a pet home, think about where you will keep it. If you have a small apartment, a large dog may not be the best choice. Don’t be deceived by small puppies – find out how big they are going to get over time! If you buy a dog it should ideally have plenty of indoor and outdoor space for daily exercise and activity.
You should also think about things like room temperature in relation to your potential pet, so it’s advisable to read up on the whole subject beforehand. For some pets (e.g. spiders and snakes) you may need to have a room dedicated to it, and that provides a consistent temperature.
Think About Personality
Different pets have different personalities, just like we do. If you choose a dog it’s important to pick one that will be suitable for the whole family. Be wary of introducing aggressive breeds into homes or neighborhoods that have small children. Some examples of these include Rottweilers, Dobermans, and Pit Bulls. Some examples of more docile dogs include Golden Retrievers, Labradors, and Beagles.
If you have noise-sensitive neighbors, be aware of the noise levels your pet will produce. Besides barking dogs, some other examples include parrots that screech and chinchillas that chatter.
Think About Your Household
If you have a family it’s vital that you are all part of the decision-making process. If someone has a fear of spiders, getting a tarantula might not be the best idea! Have a joint discussion so that you can come up with some ideas together. You should also think about existing pets before you add another member to your household. Dogs may not enjoy sharing their home with cats, who are more likely to see them as prey than playmates.
If you buy a dog think about the training requirements, and so the list goes on. You can see by now that a lot of thought and research needs to go into your decision. If you choose wisely your household may be gaining a new addition that everyone will love for many years to come.