Getting a new pet is one of the most exciting changes a family can make, but also one of the most frequently overlooked in terms of responsibility. Any animal requires a specific level of care and attention, and while some are less demanding than others, too often, owners are unaware of what they’re getting into when they bring a new pet home. This article will focus specifically on cats and dogs, and the five things you should consider before adding a new furry member to your family.
Five Things To Consider Before Getting A New Pet For Your Family
Do You Have Time?
Adults who are out of the house the majority of the day usually aren’t equipped to handle the constant attention that a puppy demands. Kittens are more independent and likely to thrive alone, but dogs are highly social and can develop behavioral issues that owners aren’t able to correct because they simply don’t have the free time to devote to training. If you’re not able to come home for lunch or frequently work late hours at the office, it may not be the right time to add a dependent animal into the mix.
Can You Afford It?
Purchasing a puppy from a reputable breeder can cost over $1,500. Pet adoptions are a good option too, but they can still be costly when you add up everything. Even if you can afford a new puppy or kitten now, the average cost of having a pet is $1,270 and $1,070 for dogs and cats respectively. This means that the first year alone could cost you over $1,000, and that figure can increase as much as $500 per year. Between vet visit, immunizations and more, it’s important to feel confident in your finances before getting a pet. It’s important to find quality care for your pet, like what’s offered at Chester Valley Veterinary Hospital, and working it into your budget should be a priority.
Will Your Other Pets Like The New Member?
Many owners have been devastated to discover that their new pet is hated by the ones they owned first. Make sure your dogs and cats are well-adjusted to other animals and arrange for a meeting (and even a week long trial period) before bringing any new animals home for good.
Does Everyone Want a Pet?
If your spouse or children aren’t as interested in getting a pet, you have to consider their feelings and assess how getting a new pet will affect their and your family life. Whether it’s due to pet allergies or just a general dislike for a certain type of animal, everyone’s needs and feelings must be considered before getting a new pet.
Is It a Long Term Desire?
Everyone’s heart melts at the sight of an adorable baby animal or a pair of doe eyes through a shelter cage, but do you plan on taking care of your pet for at least the next decade? Many breeds of dogs and cats can live over 15 years, so ask yourself whether you want a pet for such a large portion of your life or just right now.
Getting a new pet requires sacrifice, dedication, patience and most of all, love. Wanting a pet and being ready for one are two different entities, so make sure that your lifestyle, financial situation and long term plans are agreeable with a new pet. Considering the situation so seriously demonstrates responsibility as an owner even before you decide to bring a pet home, and taking the time to think things over will ultimately only make things best for you and your future four-legged companions.