Lots of people have reacted to current restrictions we’re all living under by getting their first pet! A pet, whether it’s a dog, a cat, or any of the other species we’ve domesticated, can provide comfort and joy but it’s not a responsibility to be entered into lightly. Today we’re taking a look at some of the things you need to consider before you decide if getting a pet is right for you – and if this is the right time!
In Sickness and In Health
One major worry with pets is their health: cats, dogs and all kinds of pets can be prey to various conditions, some merely unpleasant, others very serious (and potentially costly!).
If you choose to adopt or buy a cat diarrhea and vomiting will become an inevitable part of your life. In some cases you just need to comfort your pet until their upset stomach passes, in other cases, you’ll need to seek urgent medical attention!
If you’re considering getting a pet, you need to do two important things: firstly, research some of the most common (and most serious) health conditions they can encounter. Learn about the specifics of the breed or species you’re considering: for example, Spaniels have different health concerns to Terriers, and you’ll need to know how your spaniel can tell you it’s sick if you want to be a responsible pet owner.
The second, and potentially more important, thing to do is to find a reliable vet. Online vets are useful for consultations to make early diagnoses and set your mind at rest, but you also need to know where your closest bricks and mortar vet is in case you need to make an emergency visit. It’s also worth investigating the possibility of pet insurance that’s affordable and transparent such as Bivvy – this can make the financial sting of a trip the vet easier to bear.
If you’re going to really enjoy sharing your home with a pet then discipline is an issue you have to face. With smaller animals – birds, hamsters fish and so on – then the issue is your discipline: you need to be disciplined enough to clean their cage (or habitat, or terrarium), to feed them regularly and healthy, and to provide everything they need to be happy in your care.
With a larger animal, you need to be prepared to train them – to encourage your cats to use their litter tray and dogs to go to the toilet outdoors, to come when you call, and to behave in public. Establishing a good relationship with your dog helps them, and you, and the people who might encounter it outside – even small dogs can be scary, so it’s worth looking at local trainers and classes who can help to set you both on the right track!