Choosing A Pet for Your Family
Before owning a pet, you must understand that keeping a pet is accepting responsibility for the health and welfare of another living thing. You are making a promise to care for your pet and for his/her entire life. Besides, you also become responsible for your pet’s impact on your family, friends and community.
If you already have pets, the first thing you must consider is that will your current pet accept another pet of the same or a different species? If you’re not certain, you can turn to your veterinarian for the answer, and decide whether you should own a new pet.
If you don’t have any pets and haven’t yet decided what pet you should get, here are some advice:
1.Get to Know Various Pets Before Making Decision
- Ask Your Friend Who Owns A Pet
If you want to own a dog, spend some time with your friend who owns a dog. Ask him/her what’s his/her daily life with a dog like, the average cost, the entertainment of a dog, etc. This will help you to make the decision.
- Go to Your local pet stores
If possible, spend some time with different pets in the store so that you can get a better understanding of which pet is right for you. It’s a great opportunity to get to know various pets.
2.Some Things to Consider
(1) Your Lifestyle:
Do you work long hours or travel frequently? How long will you be away from your pet? Is there someone who can look after it while you are away?
Some pets, such as dogs and parrots, can become depressed if left alone for too long. Some pets, such as dogs, need more frequent exercise or feeding. So dogs and parrots might not be a good choice for owners who spend a lot of time away from home.
If you usually go home late everyday, ferrets and hamsters could be a good choice for you as they sleep most of the day and are active at night. Besides, cats could also be a good choice for owners who spend a lot of time away from home.
(2) Your Home/House:
Do local laws or your housing arrangement limit your choice of pet? Some species or breeds of pets are not allowed by building, town, county or state ordinances. If you are renting, check your lease to see if you are allowed pets. If you live in a city, your choice of pet may be very different from your choice if you lived in the suburbs or the country.
Dogs will need space. Bigger dogs need more space. Fish and small animals will need a quiet area in the house. Consider also the amount of exercise your pet will need, and whether your living arrangements accommodate that need.
Also ask yourself if your neighbours will object to a barking dog or a squawking bird.
(3) Your Family:
Some members of your family may be terrified of snakes and spiders, and some may be allergic to the fur of cats.
If someone in the house is allergic to fur, a fish or reptile is a better option. If someone is allergic to fur but still want to own a cat, Sphynx could be a good choice. If you have kids over 7, you can get them a guinea pig or hamster. And remember that they should take care of those small animals with supervision.
(4) Your Finances:
Can you afford the costs of caring for your pet? Keeping a pet can be more expensive than you realize.
Think of the needs your pet will have for food, housing, socialization, exercise, grooming and veterinary care. Some pets are cheaper than others, but all need food, cleaning products, bedding and more. Some species or breeds of pets have special needs that may require additional cost or effort.
When your pet is ill or gets into an accident, treatment can be extensive both mentally, physically, and financially. You will need to prepare for costly vet bills in case of emergencies.
Make sure that you are in a financially stable situation, and make sure you can afford and are willing and able to provide them.
(5) Local Hospital & Veterinarian:
Some pets (such as reptiles, amphibians, pocket pets and birds) require special veterinary care, so make sure there’s a veterinarian in your area who can provide that care.
Also Consider the Following:
- What are you looking for in a pet? Do you want a lap warmer? A running buddy? Or a pet that’s easy to care for? This will affect your pet choice
- Who will care for your pet in your absence? Consider not just short-term absences, but also what might happen if your pet outlives you, and plan accordingly for your pet’s care.
- What future changes might occur in your living situation that would affect your ability to keep your pet?
- Training and daycares. Some pets will need to attend obedience or training classes. Some pets can't be left unattended and will need to be put in daycares or other facilities that care for them while you're away.
- Pet Insurance. Some pet owners purchase pet insurance to help pay for unexpected pet illnesses, accidents, and veterinarian visits.