Wanting one isn’t enough. You need to take steps to prepare for a pet before you can say you’re really ready. Here are a few things to consider and actions to take before you bring the newest addition to your family home.
Consider the Pet’s Needs
You need to pick a pet that matches your home and lifestyle. For example, the bigger the pet, the more space they need. This is why apartment dwellers typically have small dogs, and those with a larger yard have bigger. Also take the pet’s socialisation needs into account. Don’t get a dog if you’re not going to be home to walk and play with it. Maybe the solution is getting two dogs, so they can play with each other? But keep in mind you’ll be doubling the cost and the work. How much exercise and activity they need depends on the breed as well as the age of the animal. When it comes to food, puppies need to be fed two to four times each day. Older dogs need to be fed at least once and often twice a day.
Cats don’t need to be let out, but they need to be fed. Adult cats will need to be fed one to two times a day, while kittens should be fed three to four times a day. You also have to be careful what you feed a kitten, especially since they can experience digestive issues. And the litter box must be cleaned. How often you do that depends on how many cats you have and your tolerance for bad smells.
Compare Your Budget to the Cost of Maintaining the Animal
Puppies and kittens come with plenty of expenses. They’ll need to be checked out by a veterinarian, and have regularly checkups. Dogs shouldn’t be eating table scraps. They should be fed formulated dog food. The same goes for cats. Dogs and cats need beds of their own and toys. Then there are other upfront costs such as leashes, collars, and any steps you have to take to keep them properly contained. Ongoing costs include grooming, flea and tick treatments, food and any supplies you need for dealing with their waste. If you can’t afford to feed and house the animal, you shouldn’t get the pet.
Pet insurance is like health insurance for your pet. It can incentivise proper preventative care like vaccinations and de-worming medication. It provides financial support if there are catastrophic veterinarian bills. Pet insurance is cheaper if you get it when you bring your new pet home. It’ll cover everything from severe illnesses to major accidents, though it won’t cover health problems caused by abuse or neglect. One benefit of pet insurance is that you’re paying monthly or quarterly premiums that offset the cost of any catastrophic healthcare the pet needs. It may also offset the associated costs like boarding for a wounded animal.
Another factor to consider is your homeowner’s insurance. Inform the homeowner’s insurance company when you get the dog. This may increase your insurance premiums, but they can also tell you how to minimise the risk of claims. In fact, you might get a discount if you can show that the dog is properly trained not to attack visitors or can protect the family home.