Owning your very own pet can be a very rewarding experience, but it doesn’t come without a number of responsibilities, so it’s not something that should be done on impulse. While it might be tempting to snatch up a puppy or kitten the moment you set eyes on your new furry friend, it’s important that you consider a few vital details first so that you know you’re making a decision that will work for you – and for them – right now and in the long run.
Will You Have the Time?
A dog or cat is a long term commitment as both could live for more than 10 years. If you’re not willing to make that kind of commitment, this might not be the right option for you. Pets need a lot of time, love and attention and if you can’t give them what they need, both cats and dogs could end up struggling with emotional and physical difficulties. If you don’t think you have the time to give to a dog or cat, you could always consider other, more suitable alternatives, including fish, birds or even hamsters – all of which require attention, but not nearly as much as their furry counterparts.
Does it Match Your Lifestyle?
When you’re picking out your pet, it’s not only the type of animal that’s important to get right but also the breed. Certain dog and cat breeds are needier than others – some require more exercise or more stimulation, while others will require more grooming. If you spend a lot of time away from home, you’ll need to ensure that someone will be able to care for them while you’re gone. Cats are easier to leave home alone than dogs, and they’ll generally require less space as they tend to wander away from home. If anyone in your home is prone to allergies, you’ll need to consider getting a pet that won’t aggravate this issue.
Can You Afford it?
Owning a cat or dog comes with financial costs that you need to be prepared for, including food, grooming, medical care and shelter, to name but a few. Every pet has its own needs, so it’s best to familiarize yourself with these before you take the leap.
Training Your Pet
Certain pets will require training and this could range from “house training” to obedience classes. The level of training a pet will require will largely depend on its breed, socialization and its unique personality. You’ll not only need to ensure that you can pay for this training, but you also need to make sure you set aside the time required to give it a good go and get it right.
No matter what your reasons for owning a pet – whether it’s for companionship for yourself or a loved one, or whether it’s a working animal, you’ll need to make sure you consider your choices carefully so that you end up making a decision that you – and your pet – will be happy with for the rest of your lives.