Having a pet as part of the family can be one of the most wonderful and memorable experiences for anyone, and for those of us that have grown up with a pet, we will often have many fond memories of the animals that served as our favorite companions and best friends for much of our lives. There are many wonderful reasons why getting a pet can be a great step to growing your family, but there are also many important questions and issues to consider too. If you are thinking of getting a pet, read on for some useful topics to think about and discuss before taking the next step.
What kind of pet is right for your family?
Like people, every animal has its own unique personality, and different species, and even breeds of animals, will have various traits that might make some types of households more suitable for them than others.
It’s a good idea to think about your own family’s lifestyle first and keeping that in mind when choosing a pet. One important question to consider is if there are any health issues such as allergies that might rule out certain animals. While it is possible to treat minor allergies at times, having the sniffles because of your family pet is never fun for anyone. If this is the case, you may want to consider different types of animals that are more suitable for you.
How much space do you have at home?
A pet is an extra addition to your household, and as such, it will need their own space and requirements. While this doesn’t mean that you need to have a whole special room just for them, there are some practical considerations to keep in mind regarding your living environment.
An essential point to keep in mind is if there is any risk of damage to your home, and if so, making sure that you are not breaching any rules by keeping a pet. For those in rental accommodation, you may need to get permission beforehand, or meet certain conditions, before you are allowed to bring a pet home. It’s essential to make sure you have done this, as a disgruntled landlord may force you to move out or give up the pet if they are unhappy.
You may also want to think about having space to play and move around the home. Some animals, such as cats and dogs, will often need regular access to outdoor areas to exercise and play, so having a yard can be a very useful factor.
Who will be responsible for their care?
Taking care of a pet’s health is no small responsibility and spans a whole variety of things to consider, from getting the best veterinary care for their health to making sure that they have proper nutrition. If you are getting a pet as a family addition, it’s very helpful to agree on certain responsibilities around the animal beforehand. For instance, if you are thinking of getting a dog, you may want to agree on a schedule for walking the dog everyday or multiple times if needed, getting the right pet food, and cleaning up any essential areas.
You may also inevitably find that one person ends up doing much more of the work, such as having to take care of a pet’s dietary needs. If that is the case, be sure to allow time for adequate research into this to make sure you will have a happy and healthy pet. For example, you can learn the ways how feeding your puppy ensures healthy growth with Diamond Pet Foods.
Understand the financial commitment
Getting a pet is a serious commitment and can often mean thinking about a whole new range of extra costs to add to your regular family budget. That means it is essential to think about the financial impact of getting a pet to make sure that it is affordable for you in the long run.
While not all pets will cost the same amount over their lives, generally, larger animals such as cats and dogs and more exotic or rare animals such as certain types of amphibians, reptiles, or fish may need a lot more financial investment. You may have to think about getting specialist food for them, making specific adjustments to your home to accommodate them, and even pay for additional services, such as training schools or daycare, especially if you are not able to care for them during your working hours. It’s useful to talk to other pet owners with similar animals to get an idea of how much you can expect to spend on them before deciding for yourself.
Will they fit in with the rest of your family?
Lastly, another important question to think about is understanding your existing family dynamics and ensuring that any new addition will fit in well with your existing family members. This includes both humans and other animals.
If you have children, then getting an animal that will get on well with them is important to think about, as this will impact both parties’ health and happiness. Not all pets will get on as well with children as you’d expect them to, so ask questions at the adoption facility or breeder to get a good sense of how they may relate to children. Some animals, such as certain cats, may get on better with older children, while others may be content around younger children.
You should also think about how an existing pet may get on with a new addition, especially if they are the same species. Do not assume that two of the same kind will instantly get on – it may require a slow and patient approach to help them get to know each other and get on with each other over time. Always introduce a new pet slowly, and ensure that each animal has their own individual space to retreat into for when they feel stressed.