So, you want to get a pet?
Owning a pet can be extremely rewarding. The unconditional love and companionship they can offer is an easy sell on why to get a pet. But with pet ownership comes a lot of responsibilities that need to be considered to ensure you and your family have the capacity to meet all the needs of what a new pet will bring. As a pet owner, you will be responsible for providing for all of the requirements of the pet- exercise, housing, food, grooming, and any veterinary care for the pet’s whole life. When making the decision to add a new pet to the family should never be a spur of the moment decision. Take the time to do some research on the species or breed you are purchasing well before you bring them home so that you are aware of everything that will be involved in taking full responsibility for this new pet. Before you make the decision to become a pet owner you should ask yourself some of the following questions:
Can I afford a pet?
There are many costs involved with a pet. Not only the actual cost of the pet but there will be costs for health checks, vaccines, spaying or neutering, housing material (ie bed, cage etc), toys, training and ongoing costs for feeding. If an accident or emergency occurs, you will also need to ensure you can pay for any additional costs for treatment that may arise. Although the cost of pet ownership will vary depending on the individual pet you chose we need to keep in mind pets are an expensive addition to the family.
Am I prepared to care for the pet its whole life?
The average lifespan of cats and dogs is roughly 10-12 years with some of them living into there 20’s. A pet is a long-term commitment. Puppies and kittens can be so irresistibly cute but you need to keep in mind that this stage of life is very short and you will need to be prepared for an adult sized animal that will need a lifetime of care and in some cases with dogs they can become very large and will require much larger requirements for exercise and food.
Do I have time for a pet?
Caring for a pet can take up a lot of considerable time. Especially in the puppy and kitten phase will require a lot of time and effort in training, socializing and ensure they are getting enough exercise. If you already have a very busy schedule with little to no free time perhaps now is not the time to invest in a pet. You must be sure that your lifestyle can accommodate a pet. Some factors to take into consideration are your working hours, do you travel lots, do you have a busy social life? Are you home long enough to give your pet the attention they need? Do you have time to give your puppy or kitten the necessary training they need?
Owning a pet can be very rewarding, but unfortunately, hundreds of unwanted and abandoned animals end up in shelters all over the world as a result of an ill-considered decision. So please before you make the decision to become a pet owner take the time to do some research and take into consideration whether or not you are prepared for everything that comes with owning a pet.
Written by Stephanie Schruder