After years and years of asking for permission from your parents for different endeavors, you’re now old enough to make your own decisions. You alone will determine how you will live your life, and this includes the decision to bring a new pet home.
Becoming a pet owner – or a pet parent, if you will – is a huge responsibility that shouldn’t be taken lightly. This is probably one reason why your parents didn’t grant your wish to bring home a puppy or kitten when you were a child.
To make sure you’re truly ready for this undertaking, you must first think it through carefully.
From finding the perfect pet to match your lifestyle to knowing the cost of pet care supplies, here are the top four considerations every aspiring pet owner should think about before moving in with their first furry baby:
1. Pet-Person Match – What kind of pet do you need?
Choosing a pet based on popularity or its cuteness alone is the worst decision a pet owner can make.
Take chihuahuas, for example. Many people adopted these tiny little creatures because of their size and level of maintenance.
Some of them probably didn’t know that this dog breed is quite intolerant of children and is known to bite kids without much provocation. This makes this dog breed the worst choice for pet owners who live with children.
Too often, pet adoption done on a whim or due to the need to feel cool and trendy leads to a pet and owner mismatch. In most cases, the animals end up in a shelter for being too needy, too hyperactive, too intolerant, and many other reasons. This scenario could’ve been avoided if only people looked more closely at the kind of pet that they’re about to bring home.
You see, when you research the pet first, you’ll be informed beforehand of its temperament, needs, and unique characteristics. Having this information can help you think about how the animal could fit into your life, particularly in your lifestyle and preferences.
2. Pet Life – Can you adjust to living with a pet?
When you have a pet, you’ll have to make sure you pick out an animal-friendly apartment. On top of that, you’ll also need to create an appropriate dwelling for the specific animal you plan to bring home.
Some animals, like hamsters, gerbils, and fishes can live in almost any kind of office or residential setup, so long as they have their cages or tanks equipped with their every need.
On the other hand, dogs are happier in places with access to outdoor spaces like parks or trails where they can sweat off their excess energy.
Meanwhile, cats require some kind of vertical space to climb, like a cat tree or even a shelf. Just make sure that nothing breakable is placed near this space.
3. Time – Will you have enough time for your pet?
A lot of pets – especially young ones – are so adorable that people just can’t help but bring them home. But as they grow older, the unwitting pet owner realizes the great responsibilities of caring for a pet.
Besides food, water, and shelter, pets require something that some people cannot spare: time.
Dogs and cats are the most common domestic pets, but they also require a considerable amount of time to look after. Although you can hire someone else to perform some activities with these furry babies, you still need to set aside time for them.
Take dogs, for example. Considered as man’s best friend, these animals also rely on humans for interaction and play. This means that, if you can’t dedicate enough time to cuddle, play, and interact with an energetic canine, don’t get one!
When you go to the office to work, you’ll have to leave your pet in the house frequently. In fact, even when working from home, you’ll need to consider how to handle his attempts at getting your attention without compromising the quality of your work.
If you’re too busy to have playful dogs at home, why not go for a less time-demanding animal, like a fish. You just need to remember to clean and maintain their tanks.
Research about the animal you’re planning to bring home to determine how much time and maintenance they require. Besides this, you must also be honest about how much time you can devote to caring for the pet.
4. Cost – Can you afford to raise a pet?
Before deciding to bring home a pet, you’ll have to look at your financial situation first. While your pet would be happy just to have you around, being a responsible pet owner means you’ll have to spend money to raise them into healthy and happy furry companions.
Besides food and treats, you’ll also need to spend money on pet grooming and toys. For pets like dogs, birds, and cats, you may need a significant amount for veterinary costs, especially if they get sick or injured.
To avoid getting caught off-guard by the expenses of pet ownership, do your research first. Browse marketplaces and calculate the average cost of food and supplies for the pet you plan to adopt.
Think Before Your Adopt
Adopting a pet is a noble act, so long as you can commit to its care and welfare. Think about the considerations listed here to make sure you’re in it for the fulfillment of being a pet parent, and not just because of a trend or pet craze.