CHOOSING THE RIGHT PET
When it comes to adding a furry friend to your life and family, there are many factors to consider. You want to find the perfect fit for your lifestyle. Whether you are a busy professional with limited free time, or a family looking for a new furry addition, there is a pet out there that will suit your needs and bring joy to your life.
TIPS ON FINDING THE PERFECT PET
Every pet has different needs in terms of care, cost, behavior, space requirements, demands on your time and feeding. Preparing in advance can be helpful to have a happy animal and a good relationship with your new pet.
Lifestyle and Living Situation
The first step in finding the perfect fur baby is to consider your lifestyle and living situation. Ask yourself the following:
- Do you live in a small apartment, or large house with a yard?
- If you rent, do you have permission to have a pet?
- Do you work long hours, or work from home?
- How flexible is your schedule?
- Are you looking for a pet that is independent, or one that needs more attention?
- Can you arrange for care when you are out of town?
The above factors will weigh heavily in determining what type of pet is right for you.
For example, if you reside in a small apartment and work long hours, a cat or low-maintenance dog breed might be a better fit than a high-energy breed.
On the other hand, if you own a large house with a spacious backyard and have a flexible schedule, a larger dog breed like a Golden Retriever or a German Shepherd, might be a better fit.
Research Different Breeds and Species
Once you have an idea of what type of pet might be a good fit for your lifestyle, it’s time to do some research. Different breeds and species have different temperaments, energy levels, and needs. So, it’s important to choose one that matches your personality.
Other factors to consider:
- Will you be able to live with pet hair?
- Are you willing to maintain a litter box?
- Will you be ok with potential wear-and-tear caused by a pet?
Consider Adopting Over Shopping
Adopting a pet from a shelter or rescue organization is a great way to find your new furry friend. It’s also a great way to give a loving home to an animal in need.
Most shelters and rescues have a variety of pets available for adoption, including dogs, cats, rabbits, and even birds.
Consider the Cost of Pet Ownership
Before bringing a pet into your home, it’s important to consider the cost of owning a pet. Do you have the financial resources if your pet has a medical crisis and/or high veterinary bills?
Pets require food, toys, bedding, grooming, and veterinary care. These costs can add up over time and can vary depending on the type of pet, breed and size.
Consider creating a budget to determine if you can afford to provide your pet with the care and attention they will need over their lifetime.
Consideration should also be given for a pet insurance policy. Pet insurance can help cover the cost of unexpected veterinary bills, but will require a monthly premium payment.
Allergies and Health Issues
If you, or someone in your household has allergies or other health issues, it’s important to consider this when choosing a pet. Some breeds of cats and dogs produce less dander than others.
For family members with health conditions such as asthma, a pet with a low-shedding coat may be a better fit than one with a heavy coat that sheds frequently.
Age of the Pet
As we all know, kittens and puppies require much more attention than older animals.
A kitten or puppy may be a great fit for families with young children. The new fur baby can grow with your family.
On the other hand, if you are older or have limited mobility, you might consider adopting an older pet that is already trained and well-behaved.
Pets and humans alike, have varying energy levels. It’s important to choose a pet that can match your energy level and lifestyle. If you enjoy hiking and outdoor activities, you may want to consider a high-energy breed like a Labrador or Border Collie.
If you prefer a more relaxed lifestyle, a cat or low-energy dog breed may be a better fit for you.
Temperament and Interaction
Some breeds of cats and dogs are known for being friendly and affectionate. Others, are more independent and reserved. Consider the following:
- How will the new pet interact with family members?
- Do you have existing pets?
- How compatible do you think your new pet will be family members and/or existing pets?
Meet the Pet
Prior to making a final decision, you should, along with family members, spend some time with them. This will give you a chance to observe their behavior and personality.
Introducing a potential new furry friend to existing pets will help to ensure they can get along:
- Pay attention to the new pet’s body language and behavior.
- Are they friendly and outgoing?
- Do they seem comfortable around people and other animals?
- Are they more reserved?
DOG OR PUPPY?
Doggies are highly social and do not like being alone. Here are a few tips to help you decide on adding a dog or puppy to your home:
- Can you spend a few hours a day with him?
- What kind of dog would you prefer?
- Do you have the time to house-train and behavior-train?
- Can you walk them daily?
CAT OR KITTEN?
Despite what you may think, most cats are highly social and crave attention. Although cats are more independent than dogs, they still want to be cuddled on the daily.
Here are a few other things to consider:
- Cats are “clean” creatures and need you to keep their litter box clean and fresh.
- Typically, cats live longer than dogs.
- Cats need to scratch. So, it’s important to have sturdy scratching posts.
- Be prepared for cats having different personalities.
- Do you want an indoor or outdoor cat?
Birds are not as easy to care for as a dog or cat. They need plenty of attention. Other things to consider before adding a bird to the family include:
- Birds require a large cage.
- Consider getting two, as birds do better in flocks.
- Some birds can live up to 50 years, or more.
- Birds are messy. So, you will be spending a lot of time cleaning their cage.
- Their diet is highly complex and needs to be prepared daily.
Pet rabbits need human interaction daily. In addition, they require a special diet, need to be handled very gently and provided a comfortable environment to prosper.
Having a pet can enrich your life in so many ways. There are a lot of things to consider when choosing the right pet. We hope this article helps you find that perfect furry companion!