Many of us have had pets for years. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t have some sort of pet from something as tiny as a fish all the way up to my beloved Great Dane, Harleigh. That being said, there are many first timers out there that have never owned a pet. Choosing what type of pet to bring into your home is not a decision that should be made lightly. There are many things to consider. How do you choose what pet best fits your lifestyle?
We must start by asking ourselves a few questions:
How often will I be away from home? – If you travel a lot or work long hours you need to consider who will take care of your pet while you’re away. There are many different options such as pet sitters (I know a great one!), lodging facilities and having a friend or family member look after your pet. These needs can range from having someone come by and walk Fido while you’re at work to coming by and changing kitty’s litter box while you’re on vacation. Dogs take more care than cats when you consider the need for exercise, cats take more care than fish and so on. The amount of time you can commit to the care of your pet should be a determining factor in the specific type of pet you decide to bring home.
How active am I versus the activity level of the pet I am considering? – Let’s say you’ve done your research and have decided you want a dog. Great! What kind of dog? If you’re a jogger who wants to be able to take your companion with you, then you want to focus more on your active breeds like Border Collies, Labradors and Golden Retrievers. If you want a couch potato or maybe a dog that doesn’t need quite the amount of exercise as the more active breeds you’ll want to look at Basset Hounds or maybe even Great Danes. If you’re not a dog person and you don’t have an active lifestyle then you may want to consider a cat or perhaps even a fish tank or small mammal.
What is my budget for my new companion’s initial set up as well as their continued care? – In doing enough research you can figure out a pretty good estimate of what it will cost to purchase or adopt your companion as well as the cost of initial supplies such as bedding, food, dishes, toys etc. But what about unexpected costs such as a change in diet, new bedding (in the case of a destructive pet), emergency medical care etc. It’s a good idea to consider the “what ifs” by setting up an emergency fund to help cover unexpected expenses or to consider pet health insurance to help cover medical costs.
It’s important to keep in mind that every pet is different so be prepared for surprises in personality, activity level and behavior. If you’re just not sure, then wait. The perfect companion will be waiting when you are ready!
See you next blog!