Pets are human’s best friends, they can become confidantes, support systems, training partners and can be a vital part of your family. Most people think about getting a pet at one point in their lives, but as with all big investments, they come with a lot of responsibilities.
Before getting a furry friend, check out our list and see the important things you need to consider before you go to the animal shelter. Depending on the type of animal you get, you may need to invest a lot of time and money to make sure they are healthy and happy.
1. Different Pets Have Different Needs
One of the first things you need to consider before going to the pet shop, or shelter is deciding on what type of pet is best for you. Every pet has different needs and each one requires certain amounts of time and care. If you live alone, then you will need to adjust your schedule and have at least two hours per day to spend with your furry friend.
Dogs need the most attention, and fish need the least. They also have very different life spans. If you don’t want to end up taking care of something for a decade or two, you should probably choose a pet with a shorter life span.
No matter what type of animal you decide to get, you should know that you will need to invest both time and money in them. You will also need a good vet, because pets, just as humans, can get hurt or sick. Most pets are not inexpensive things to take care of, so you need to consider the money you will need to provide them a good place to live. For example, the ASPCA estimates that the total first-year costs for dogs range from $1,314 and $1,843 on average.
2. House or an Apartment?
Before deciding on pet, you should think about your living environment. For example, if you decide to get a dog, there are hundreds of breeds that are suitable for both smaller and bigger spaces, but some breeds need more space than others to stay healthy.
You should also remember that pet chew on things, scratch up furniture, shed fur, make noise, and lastly have potty accidents. If you decide to get a larger animal, keep in mind the time they’d need outdoors and they’re grooming needs. If you live in an apartment, choosing a small breed dog (like a miniature pinscher, or yorkie) or cat, could be an ideal choice.
If your landlord doesn’t allow dogs or cats, you may consider getting a fish, or invest in a saltwater aquarium filled with a plethora of fishes. Exotic animals like lizards, frogs and small reptiles are also an interesting possibility, but only if you don’t mind feeding them live crickets. Snakes are also another reptile to choose from. Depending on the type, some eat mice, which is not recommended for everyone (read: the squimish). All reptiles require heat-controlled terrariums built with environment specifics from their natural habitats to live. If you still haven’t found the best pet for you, there are still many more choices including birds, hamsters, ferrets, rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas and mice. Although most of these animals are great for an apartment and don’t need to be taken on walks, they still need attention and different things to have a comfortable life.
3. Things You’d Need
To make sure your new pet is happy in their new home, a few basics are needed including a bed, feeding bowls, collars, leashes, grooming tools, etc. According to myotherbestfriend.com, there is an assortment of pet fashion accessories that can transform your new friend into the cutest little pet out there.
You should remember that not every animal likes the same beds, you will need to choose the right size and type for them and make sure there is enough room for them to grow. When it comes to collars, there are many to choose from, including smart collars that store your pet’s health information and send your pet’s location to your smartphone. Oftentimes, you’ll need different collars for different situations, like a training martingale collar for an obedience class, a traditional nylon collar for the dog park, or a no-pull harness for walks. Dogs and cats will also need regular medical attention including vet visits for vaccines, teeth cleaning and nail clipping. Getting pet insurance is highly recommended and while save you a significant amount of cash in the long term.
If you choose an exotic animal, you’ll need to invest in the properly sized aquarium or terrarium outfitted with specific habitat features to fulfill their needs. Aquariums and terrariums can cost a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars, depending on the equipment, containment size, containment material (plastic or glass), water features, sprinklers, heat rocks, sand, soil, plants and temperature control. Setting up can be costly, you’ll have to be ready to invest in it.
4. Do You Have Enough Time to Take Care of Your New Best Friend?
Animals will need your time and attention. Playtime is usually easy, but you’ll also need to make time to feed them, clean them, train them and all their other needs. One of the few pets you can get that don’t require a lot of interaction are fish. A fish or a tank of fish, would need to be fed daily and then you’d monitor the water balance and to clean the aquarium as needed.
You should plan for the times when you are away from home or go on vacation. Who is going to take care of your pet? Can they travel with you? Do your hotel accommodations allow pets? This is a full-time responsibility; they cannot take care of themselves. If your job allows for telecommuting, you may want to look into getting a furry co-worker, as they make for great companions during the workday.
Keep in mind that if you decide to get a dog and if you live in an apartment, you will have to take them on walks every day, no matter the weather or how you are feeling.
5. Why Do You Want One?
This is a critical question that you should always ask yourself and your family before deciding to get a cat, dog, or other type of pet. If you are looking for something to keep you entertained for a short period of time, then now is probably not the right time for a furry four-legged friend. Some pets may live 20 years or longer and requires a commitment to be there for them every step of the way.
There is one quote that you should always think of before buying or adopting an animal – “they will be a part of your life, but you will be their whole life.” So, make sure that you get them for the right reasons, and that you won’t get bored with them and leave them. You need to commit to it and you need to be ready for the responsibility, so if you think that this is something you are not up for right now, maybe you should wait for a while and assess your situation. Numerous studies have determined that between 6% to 16% of pets are returned after purchase.
Even though animals come with a lot of responsibilities, they will bring you more joy and happiness then you can imagine. Their love is unconditional and they will make your heart melt. Before choosing the right one for you, make sure that you can give them a healthy home environment along with the time and attention they need.