If you’re an animal lover, there’s a good chance that you already have or want to get a pet. Personally, I’m a major dog person and do not know what I would do without my Havanese Lucky. They are amazing, but they are a major commitment. While my dog is the light of my life, he does have needs, just like any person. In addition to his affection for constant belly rubs, my family does need to pay for his medical bills and make sure his care needs are met.
So, to properly prepare you for adding a new member to your family, here are five things that you should consider before getting a pet. These suggestions are mainly for pets like dogs and cats than, let’s say, fish (which are still great pets!)
1. Availability to spend time with a pet
Even if cats act like they don’t like company, pets don’t like being left alone all the time. If you’re away from your house from 8 am to 10 pm and cannot bring your animal with you, then it might not be the best time in your life to get a pet. Some vet-related costs can be reduced by setting up a pet insurance plan. On the other hand, this doesn’t mean that you have to work from home and never leave your house. While you don’t have to have your schedule already mapped out, it’s a good idea to at least think about how available you’d be for a potential pet.
2. Where you live
Some homes and apartments don’t allow dogs or cats! Or there are weight restrictions for dogs. Before getting a pet, you should look at your lease to see whether or not you’re allowed to keep dogs or cats in your home. Also, your living situation may impact which pet you can get. For example, an elderly Corgi may be okay living in a small apartment with no yard. However, a Golden Retriever puppy may be more suited to live somewhere where they can run around.
3. Ability to pay for their needs
Pets, just like you and me, have medical, care, and food expenses. If you’re not in a place to make sure you can meet a pet’s physiological needs, it’s probably not the best time to get one. You could always put off adopting a pet and save up money to be able to meet the needs of a pet in the future.
This varies a lot per animal, but if you have a younger dog or a hyper kitten, they may need exercise and play every day. If you can’t commit to taking a dog on a walk or playing with a kitten due to a busy schedule or a disability, adopting an older pet may be a more suitable option.
I’ve heard of a surprising number of situations where people have adopted dogs or cats only to learn that they are allergic to them. In the end, most of them had to give them away. It’s just a sad situation. In order to avoid that, consider getting tested for allergies before getting a pet.
Hopefully, these five things to consider before adopting a pet are helpful and make your decision easier. If you decide to get a pet, I hope that they are everything you’ve ever wanted!