It is easy to visit a pet shop or shelter with no intention of bringing home a new pet only to find yourself tempted by their cuteness. Who hasn’t had to resist this urge? Getting a new pet on an impulse is never a good idea. For the sake of the animal, it is better not to get a new pet based on a whim. Choosing to adopt or purchase a cat or a dog based solely on their cuteness is neither good for the pet or you. Remember you are adding a long term member to your family when you choose to get a pet. It is important to remember our desires are not always in alignment with our needs. Choosing to add to your family by getting a new pet is a serious decision. It is one that requires careful, thoughtful consideration and time.
Do your homework before getting a new pet. Take your time to learn all you can about the kind of pet you are considering. The structure of your family will change significantly. Learn about the various breeds. Remember their personalities, abilities, and needs are as varied as ours. Consider what type of pet best fits your family’s lifestyle and needs.
Community rescue groups and the local humane society are both good places to start your search after determining what type and breed of pet you wish to welcome into your family. Again, it is a good idea to take your time. Don’t simply take the word of the person caring for the pet about what type of personality it has. Observe the pet for yourself. Carefully study its negative and positive traits. Consider which traits you deem most attractive as well as those that give you pause.
Think about what type of lifestyle you have. Are you in a position personally and professionally to give the time and patience a new pet requires? Does your job demand you work long hours? Do you like a neat home? Do you have a baby or small children? How might they react to a new pet in your household? Do you travel often? Is your yard big enough for a dog? Is it fenced in properly? Do you live in a home or an apartment? These are some of the questions to consider before adopting or buying a new pet.
Another important subject to explore is your personality. If you are independent by nature, this is an important personality trait to consider. Are you interested in having a pet that would be an energetic companion with whom you can play or a pet that you can occasionally cuddle? People who like cats can have different personality traits from those who prefer dogs. Choosing a new pet as a companion for a child is not uncommon. However, ask yourself whether you expect your child to care for the new pet. If your goal in getting a pet is to teach a child responsibility, give careful thought to whether they demonstrate the level of maturity caring for another living being requires. Forcing a child to care for a pet in an effort to instill responsibility can backfire. Have a carefully thought out plan about who will be the primary caregiver to a pet.
Another valid question is whether this is the right time in your life to get a pet. If you have other pets, determine if they will get along with a new one. Are you living on your own? Are the relationships in your family stable? Does anyone in your home have health problems? These are all important questions to answer before making a decision to bring a new pet into your family.
Carefully reflect on whether you have the time to provide the attention and care a pet requires. Is your schedule such that you have ample time to feed, clean, and play with your pet? Perhaps ask your friends and family members who have pets about what care and attention theirs require. Many dogs can become bored if they do not have enough play time and develop unhealthy behaviors. Consider whether it is fair to bring a new pet into your home if you are worried you do not have the time to provide adequate attention and care.
Finally, one of the most important questions is whether you can afford to pay for the care of the pet you wish to adopt or purchase. Pets require a considerable amount of money throughout their lifetime. Besides the cost of a good diet, pets require products, prevention medication, veterinary care, grooming, and boarding or pet sitting.
Our pets are our best friends and most loyal companions. Their unconditional love give our lives much joy and meaning. It is nearly impossible to quantify the positive aspects of having a pet. Still, deciding to bring a new pet into your home should only be done after careful consideration. It is an important decision. Taking the time to deliberate and explore your options will reap tremendous rewards for you, your family, and most importantly, your pet.