5 things to think about before you get a pet…

Are you thinking of getting a pet? Sure, it’s a great idea and all the power to you. However, you can’t just buy a pet on a whim without giving it some serious thought. There are at least 5 things that you need to take into consideration before buying a pet. Here they are.

1. Do I Have The Time?

One of the first things that you need to take into a consideration before buying any pet is if you have the time to take care of it. This means that you need to take into account what your work or school schedule is like, if you love to go out and party all of the time, if you are not home much, and if you have kids and other responsibilities to take care of.

If you have a full time job, kids, and play on 13 different sports teams, a pet may not be the right fit for you. Of course, many people do have pets when their time is limited, but it means having to make sure that other family members or friends can look after them properly.

Of course this does depend on who is in your family. If you are living on your own and are busy all of the time, you probably won’t have enough time to properly look after the pet. However, if you have lots of family and friends willing to lend a hand, you could probably make it work. Moreover, another important thing to keep in mind here is the type of pet.

Something like a dog, especially a puppy, requires a whole lot of attention every single day. The same can be said for other animals like cats (cats make great emotional support pets), birds, and ferrets too. Animals like snakes and lizards don’t need quite as much attention and pets like fish and turtles even less. If you don’t have too much time on your hands, but you really want a pet, something like a fish is going to have to suffice.

2. Do I Have The Money?

Another thing that you definitely need to take into account before you get any pet is if you have enough money to support it. After all, pets are supposed to be like family, plus they can’t exactly take care of themselves. This means that it is your responsibility to make sure that they are happy, have a good environment, are well fed, and healthy too. This usually translates into money. Yes, it is an unfortunate reality, but you will need money to do any and all of those things.

The bottom line is that everything costs money. Now, some pets are cheaper to purchase and look after than others. If you are the CEO of some huge company and have a fat bank account, you don’t really have to worry about this. However, for us regular folk, the cost of taking care of a pet is often a deciding factor.

Like we said, some pets are more expensive than others and no, we aren’t talking about tigers, monkeys, and other exotic pets that you shouldn’t buy anyway. For instance, on average the most expensive pet that you can have is a dog. A dog will cost you anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 just for the animal itself. Yes, you can get a mutt for much less, or even adopt a dog, but purebreds are expensive.

Then you need to take into account vet bills, which for anyone who has dogs knows those can be sky high. Some people spend countless thousands of dollars at the vet for their dog. Then you have the food, the toys, the sleeping areas, leashes, and everything else, plus destroyed property because puppies love to chew on stuff. Dogs cost a lot, but many people love to get them. Hey, they are called man’s best friend!

On the other hand, there are other animals which are not nearly as expensive. A cat is already quite a bit cheaper to own than a dog, but still fairly expensive. Next down the line in terms of price are usually birds. Now, we mean smaller birds, usually ones that can’t really talk. Big birds like parrots are still going to cost quite a bit. Next you have your snakes and lizards which can cost a bit to buy, but are cheap to maintain. Then, even cheaper are fish and turtles, and the least expensive pets to buy and own are rodents.

3. How Does My Family Feel About It?

Chances are that if you are thinking of buying a pet, your family is already on board with the plan as is. This is a consideration to take into account no doubt, but if you are reading this, you and the crew are probably thinking of getting a pet regardless. That being said, some people just don’t like certain animals. If you have someone in your home that is going to be deathly afraid of the pet in question, chances are that it is not the best idea to get it. There’s no point in having a pet if someone is going to hate it.

Now, that being said, it kind of depends on how many people are in your family. Seriously, you just can’t make everyone happy. If your family consists of mom, dad, and three kids, chances are high that at least one person is not going to be in favor of a certain pet. Isn’t it interesting how mom and dad get the final say? In this case, a dog or cat is a pretty good choice. Most people love dogs, which is probably why so many people have them.

If everybody except one person wants a certain pet, sorry to say, but that one person who is on the nay side of things might just be out of luck. Majority rules in this case, or to be accurate, mom and dad rule. There is also the point that people, especially kids, are often afraid of the unknown. So even if they are scared of a certain pet, after a few days of spending time with it, they will start to come around and maybe even love it.

4. Do We Have The Space?

The spatial requirements of any pet are another thing you need to think about before buying an animal. Of course, this is going to depend on the type of pet you are looking to get. If you get a big dog, you will need a whole lot of space and big yard. Even a smaller dog still requires a fair amount of house and yard space to be happy. Cats require a little less space no doubt, seeing as they are fairly small.

If you have limited space in your home, you can always look into getting something that lives in a tank, in which case you just need to make sure that you have enough space for the tank or cage. Things like birds, rodents, turtles, and fish are definitely ideal if you have limited room for a pet.

5. What Kind Of Pet Is Best For The Family?

The last thing to think about is of course what pet you want. Let’s take a look at some possible pets in relation to the factors we considered above.

1. Dog

• Dogs are definitely expensive. Even if you buy a mutt or adopt a dog, the veterinary bills, food costs, and all of the equipment will cost you a fair amount.
• Dogs need lots of room, even the smaller ones, so you need to be confident that you have enough space. Apartments usually are not the best places for dogs.
• Dogs require lots of time and effort, especially younger ones that need training.

2. Cat

• Cats are not too expensive unless it’s a rare breed. However, vet bills can add up because they need immunizations. They also need food and toys.
• Cats don’t require all that much room. Indoor cats need more room because they never go out.
• Cats are pretty independent and don’t require much time.

3. Fish

• Fish are relatively cheap to buy. The equipment such as a protein skimmer (which help to keep the tank water clean, the tank, and filter, are a little pricey, but after that you’re all good.
• Fish definitely don’t need too much room. As long as you have space for a decent tank, you’re all good.
• Besides feeding and cleaning the tank, fish don’t need much of your time.

4. Hamster

• Hamsters are cheap to buy and cheap to own.
• Hamsters don’t need much space past a decent sized cage.
• Hamsters, besides feeding, some cleaning, and play time, don’t need too much attention, but they do love it!

Conclusion

If you want a pet then you should definitely go out and get one. However, don’t just get a pet because I WANT A PET! Take everything we talked about here into consideration because a pet deserves a good home just like you!

Image used with permission

*This is a collaborative post*
Posted in All things pet related, Family Life and Parenting Tagged with: , ,

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