It’s not unusual for people to be closer to their pets than they are to some of their fellow human beings. Whether you’re looking for that kind of companionship or you just saw a cute picture of a puppy on social media, there are a lot of reasons to get a pet of your own.
But how do you know which of those reasons are the right ones? As trite as it may sound, getting a pet is a huge responsibility, which is why you should consider the following things before making that commitment:
1. How much free time do you have?
Although they’re completely different, getting a pet is highly similar to having a baby. Having a pet requires a lot of your time, so make sure that you have a lot to spare. Time also comes with attention. Now, this would vary depending on the pet that you want to get, but generally speaking, having one in the house would require a lot of your undivided attention.
Still, you’re human, and emergencies inevitably come up sometimes. When you can’t look after your pet, you could always consider calling on the help of great local pet sitters.
Lastly, when considering how much free time you have, don’t forget to think long term as well by taking the pet’s life span into account. Dogs and cats, for instance, have an average life span of 12 years. If you can’t commit for that long, then maybe it’s better for you to get a house plant instead.
2. What breed will you get?
A pet’s cuteness shouldn’t be the only thing convincing you to get him. You have to learn about their specific breed by reading up on the following:
- Food intake
- Frequency of exercise needed (if applicable)
- Common diseases and how to prevent them
Make sure that you’re getting information from a reliable source, like your local veterinarian. After you’ve gathered all the necessary knowledge, contemplate on whether your pet’s breed is suitable to your lifestyle or not. Sadly, there are animals who once had happy homes that are being dropped off at adoption shelters because their owners didn’t think this part through.
3. Do you have extra cash to shell out?
Getting a pet can be an expensive commitment, especially now that pet spending around the world is being devoted more towards pampering. If you’re thinking about getting one of the more high-maintenance ones, such as dogs, see to it that you have enough funds to support their needs for the next couple of years, which include:
- Regular checkups
- Other accessories
4. Is your space accommodating?
With the initial excitement of getting a pet clouding your better judgment, you may forget that he will be living with you. So, before you go to the pet store or the adoption shelter, check that your home is suitable for the pet that you have in mind. You can ask yourself questions like:
- Will the pet take up or need a lot of space?
- Will the landlord/condominium/apartment building allow pets?
- Will I be comfortable living with a pet within the kind of space that I have?
5. Can someone watch over your pet when you’re away?
There will be times when you can’t physically be there for your pet. As mentioned, you could opt to hire local pet sitters. However, if you’re not comfortable with that idea, then make sure that you have a relative, friend, or even neighbor who would willingly watch over Butters the fish or Sandy the cat when you’re away.
6. How much do you need to travel?
If your work would regularly take you out of town or overseas, then you’d know right away that it’s probably not a good idea to get a pet. Although you know someone who can watch over your pet while you’re gone, the fact that it’s going to be a regular thing may lead to you not even getting what you want out of being a pet owner.
Now, you might say that you can always bring your pet with you every time you travel. But are you really willing to go through all that trouble?
Be it dogs, cats, birds, hamsters, or fishes, all pets deserve a loving home that provides them with all their needs. Before you get a pet, see to it that you can give them a suitable living environment by considering how much time, money, and effort you can devote to them as well as how appropriate your lifestyle and living space are to their specific breed.