Whether you are thinking about getting your first pet as a family or you want to add to your existing household, there are several things that you need to consider before you do so.
From making sure that you can commit in the long term to ensuring you can afford not only the initial costs but their long-term care, keep reading to discover five factors that you need to consider before getting a family pet.
Your level of commitment
Some pets require more commitment than others. For instance, the average-sized dog can live up to 11 years, whereas domesticated cats can live up to 15 years. Therefore, before you decide upon getting a pet, you first need to think about how long you are prepared to commit to pet ownership.
If you feel you cannot devote a significant amount of time to an animal, you may want to think about choosing a less demanding pet such as fish.
What you can afford
Having a pet is expensive; there is no getting around it. As well as the initial cost of your pet, you will also need to make sure you have enough money for food, grooming, toys, ongoing veterinary care, and even any care they may need at an emergency veterinary hospital. Although no one can know what will happen in the future, you need to be confident that you will be able to afford to care for your pet for the duration of their life.
Before getting a pet, you need to think carefully about your family’s lifestyle. Do you and your partner both work long hours? Do you like to go on vacation often and without much notice?
Cats and dogs, in particular, require daily attention, so it might not be fair for you to choose this type of pet if you cannot offer them what they need in terms of time and affection.
If you or any member of your family have any allergies to fur or animals, you need to know about this before you pick a pet. For those who are not sure if their children have any pet allergies, it can be a good idea to take them around to a friend or family member’s house who does have pets to see if they suffer from any adverse reactions.
Mostly applying to dog ownership, but some cats may also benefit; obedience and behavioral training are vital for a family pet. Starting with potty training, which can be a time-consuming and long-drawn-out process, you need to make sure you are willing to put in the effort to train your dog unless you want them to destroy your home.
For those who don’t want to have to undertake any pet training, you may want to opt for a hamster, rabbit, or bird, who all require little to no training. Make sure to assess how much time you have available when considering this, as you don’t want to start it only to find later on that you have to push it back.