The decision to get a pet is a big one and if you have always loved animals, you likely knew that they decision would come at some point or another in your lifetime. A pet can be the most amazing companion in the world and being able to share your home and part of your life with another living thing can be a real blessing.
Getting a pet this year can be the best decision you make for yourself and you’ll be able to know that you have made an animal’s life so much better and more loved.
But the decision to buy a pet and bring it into your life is not one which you should take lightly, and there are a lot of things which you should consider before you take the leap. Today we are going to have a look at some of the things you need to consider before you add a pet to your family.
The first point you need to truly ask yourself is why you want to get a pet in the first place.If you think animals are cute and you want to be able to cuddle them, this isn’t a good enough reason for you to get a pet. However if you want some real responsibility in life or you want to rescue an animal who needs a home, this is a good reason to get yourself a pet this year.
What’s your lifestyle?
One of the biggest points for you to think of when you look at getting a pet is the kind of lifestyle you lead. If you are working from home all of the time and you are going to be there for your animal, this is a great thing and a high maintenance pet like a dog could be right for you. But if you have spent a lot of time looking at the pros and cons of sleeping with a pet and living with hair in the house then perhaps a pet like this won’t be for you
What kind of animal?
When it comes to choosing a pet to join your family the biggest question of all for you to ask is what kind of animal you want. When it comes to choosing an animal there are a lot of different options and initially it will of course depend on your preference. You might love dogs, love cats or Love rabbits, and for all of these it is important for you to go off and do some real research into the animal and everything you will need to take care of it. You might even find during your search that another creature catches your eye and wins your heart.
Do you have spare time?
The main question you’ll need to ask yourself about a pet when it comes to taking care of it is whether or not you have a lot of time to do so. When we think about having a pet to call our own it is always crucial that we are able to devote enough time to them every day. If you work all day every week then keeping a dog or a cat might not be the ideal option however in this case a rabbit or a fish would be ideal. Make sure you have enough time to devote to the animal’s needs.
Can you afford it?
Sure, you can walk into any pet store and buy a fish for £10 today, and you could walk into a shelter and buy a dog or a cat for £500 depending on the breed… but it is after this that you will want to start thinking about how much money you have available to care for your animal and take care of it. You need to consider the cost of food, a bed,collars and leads, medical bills and toys too. By the time you have done this and you calculate the monthly cost of looking after a pet, it can be much higher than you think so be sure to think this through.
Are you allowed?
Before you get all excited and fall in love with an animal at the local shelter, take a minute to think about this: will your landlord allow it? If you don’t own your house then there will always be a question when it comes to owning a pet as to whether the landlord of your home will allow pets to live inside. Make sure to double check this because it would be so devastating if you got all excited and then your landlord said no.
Does grooming bother you?
One of the things which you will need to consider when it comes to getting a dog or a cat is the fact that certain breeds will shed a lot of fur and require a lot of grooming to keep under control. For example if you were to get yourself a husky or a German shepherd, these dogs are stunning but they also need to be brushed every other day and groomed a lot to keep their coat healthy and shiny. As long as you are happy to put the work in to keep your dog or cat looking great, this won’t be an issue.
How big is your house?
Space is a big factor when you look at getting a pet because if you live in a small 1 bed flat you shouldn’t really be considering anything bigger than a rabbit. If you live in a home which is a little bit small, perhaps stick to cats and dogs which range from terriers to small cocker spaniels. For larger homes you can have a larger dog and go for something grand like a boxer or even a malamute. As long as you have the space to let your animal live comfortably, and if you want a dog that you have a garden, it shouldn’t be an issue for you at all moving forward.
When it comes time to add a new member to the family it is also important to you to consider whether or not you have children. As a rule of thumb if you have a child you are usually fine getting a puppy or a kitten who is young enough to get used to living with a child from day one. If the animal is a little bit older you will need to trail meeting it a few times before you bring it into your home because sometimes an animal won’t appreciate the attention a child will give to it. You also need to consider if you don’t have a child but you are planning to start a family: and if so make sure you get a breed which is gentle and caring by nature such as a labradoodle or a springer spaniel.
If you already have another cat or a dog in the house and you plan to add a cat, dog, rabbit, bird or anything else, you need to be sure you can trust them together. If you are trialing a new dog for the family and you already have a dog of your own; a great idea would be to meet up with the seller for a walk in a park somewhere and let the dogs play and get used to each other. With cats it can be a good idea to make a slow transition to being a new animal into the home because they don’t like change. If you have a cat, make sure to start bringing in blankets and items which smell like the new animal and leave them in various parts of the house. This will allow the cat to get used to the smell and understand that another animal will be joining them, and it should make a meeting so much less stressful.
Do you have allergies?
If you or anyone in your household has allergies to a kind of pet, you should of course make changes to your plans to fit around this and make sure that the person will be ok when introduced. One way to do this could be to have a few trail meetings and see if it has any effect on their allergies, and also try to pick breeds which are hypoallergenic.
Do you like the outdoors?
How much do you enjoy being out in the open at all times of the year? If you don’t like to be outside in the cold and the rain, getting a dog likely isn’t the right option for you. Dogs need a lot of exercise and you will need to take them for at least one good walk every day. If walking is something you enjoy to do then this could be a great option for you. Make sure you are willing to walk in all weather conditions because even in the winter your dog will need to be taken out so that they can stretch their legs and do their business!