Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about what it would be like to have another pet. The kids have reached the age where all I hear about it how much they want a pet of their own, but it’s a life-altering decision. I thought I’d put together a quick blog post on the top five things to consider, in case you are in the same situation.
5 things to think about before getting a pet
1. Your lifestyle
First and foremost, what kind of lifestyle do you have? Are you flying solo and prefer to spend most of your evenings out on a run, and you’d love the company of a large dog beside you? Or are you a loving family unit, currently searching for an exuberant kitten that’s just as happy to play with the kids as he is to sit on your lap of an evening? You need to make sure that you pick the right kind of animal to suit your lifestyle, otherwise, you will both end up miserable.
2. Your environment
It’s all well and good choosing an animal you like the most, but take a look at your environment and be honest with yourself about how suitable it is. Cats love to climb, so you might want to think about modifying your space to include some platforms for it to jump to or scratching posts beside walls. If this isn’t something you’re prepared to do, then you shouldn’t be thinking about that animal – even rabbits need a run!
3. Your allergies
Purposely getting a pet you’re allergic to could land you on a hospital ward, so if you have your heart set on a cat for example but suffer from terrible allergies, the Siberian breed might be the one for you, as studies have shown them to have far less of the protein in their saliva that causes a reaction than any other cat. Always do your research and see if there’s a breed to suit you.
4. Your budget
Of course, there’s no point in picking the perfect pet for yourself if you can’t actually afford to keep it, so you should always look at exactly what the monthly costs involved will be. With animals like dogs and cats, you can expect food, toys, vet bills, insurance and so on to be at the top of the list, but what about more exotic pets like amphibians? They will probably require a special diet and habitat requirements. Be honest about what all of this is likely to cost you.
5. Where do you go?
Start by searching your local area to find registered and reputable breeders. If you’re looking for a specific breed, it’s vital that you select someone who is registered with the local authorities and who loves and understands the breed.
Don’t dismiss pet rehoming centres either though, as they’re a great opportunity to give a loving animal a fresh start, particularly older animals who have been abandoned through no fault of their own and who are likely to be passed over in favour of kittens and puppies.
I hope this post has helped you – are you getting a new pet soon?