Having pets can be a lovely experience. Whether you want them for fun, for companionship, for protection or anything in between, there is no doubting the popularity of pets. In fact, about 85 million American families own at least one pet of some kind.
However, before you go out and get a pet, you need to make some considerations and ask yourself some questions. If you get a pet on a whim, it could be a costly mistake and one that you regret, and that simply isn’t fair for your new pet.
Without any further ado, read on to learn about six things you need to consider and ask yourself before getting a pet.
Do I Have All of the Equipment and Accessories I Need?
First and foremost, you need to be sure you have all the gear you need to own and care for a pet. This includes food, toys, a carrier, a bed, brushes and other grooming tools and treats. These are crucial to keeping your pet happy and healthy.
Also, there may be some equipment that could be specific to the type of pet you get. For example, if you want to get a cat that spends some time outdoors, be sure to get it an outdoor house or structure from furry friends gear. While some items can be bought after you have the pet, you will want to get many beforehand to ensure you are prepared.
Do I Have Time for a Pet?
Another consideration to make depends on time. While some pets are more low-maintenance than others, all will require a little bit of time and work in order to train and care for. Some people lead a busy life, or work in long shifts, and owning a pet may not always make sense. Your pet deserves your time and effort, so be sure you can provide it before buying or adopting a pet.
If you have a family or roommates this can be a little easier, but if you live alone, it all falls on you. Things like cats are generally easier for those with busy lives, but if you want a dog, you will need to do everything from take it on walks, to let it outside multiple times every day to use the bathroom.
Am I Ready for the Commitment of a Pet?
Having a pet is not something you do for a week and then be done with it. When you buy or adopt a pet, you are making a commitment to care for that pet for the rest of its life. This depends on the pet, but this can often mean a commitment of at least 10 years. If you don’t know if you will want a pet at that point in your life, don’t get one.
Pets will also command additional space and can lead to a major change in how your home looks and how chaotic it can be. While there are plenty of amazing times with a pet, there will also be challenges. As an owner, you need to be open to these challenges and be in this for the long haul.
Can I Afford a Pet?
Another thing to consider is the cost. You need to ensure you can afford a pet before you buy one. Depending on what you want to get, some pets can cost thousands of dollars. But in addition to the upfront costs like purchasing the pets and getting all of the right vaccines and shots, there are plenty of ongoing costs to worry about.
You will need to pay for their food and treats, toys, training, accessories and plenty of other things throughout their lives. Also, if your pet gets sick or injured, you may also be responsible for paying healthcare related costs as well.
Is Anyone in My Life Allergic to Pets?
It is quite common to be allergic to different pets from cats, to rabbits, to dogs. While plenty of people disregard their allergy and live with a pet anyways, this is not a good idea. It can make simply being at home a very annoying and irritating experience. If your child or spouse has an allergy, only choose a pet that won’t exacerbate the allergy.
If you live alone, this won’t be as big a concern as long as you yourself aren’t allergic. Of course, always consider the allergies of your friends as well. If you have a friend who spends a lot of time at your home who is allergic to cats, you will need to find a new place to hang out or simply get another pet.
Is My Home Pet-Proof?
You need to consider the state of your home before you get a pet, as well. Not only do you need enough space for the pet, but also need to ensure your home doesn’t introduce any potential hazards to the pet. Before ever bringing a pet home, you need to be sure to pet-proof your home.
Your new pet will be very curious, and you need to ensure they cannot get into anything that could hurt them. Keep all hazard chemicals out of reach, close all cupboards and restrict access to certain rooms.
Getting a pet without first making these six considerations can be a mistake. By asking yourself these questions you can ensure that you and your lifestyle are ready for a pet.