Five things to think about before getting a pet

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.

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 with 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?

Finally, you should do a search in your local area for where you can actually pick up an animal from. If you’re going for a specific breed, it’s vital that you select someone who is registered with the local authorities or you pick an establishment such as Douglas Hall Kennels who hand-pick breeders for you. Don’t dismiss charities either though, as they’re a great opportunity to give a loving animal a fresh start.

I hope this post has helped you – are you getting an animal soon?