How To Choose the Right Pet For You
At last, you are at the point in your life where everything is going according to plan and now you feel you are ready to “take the plunge” and get a pet. You finally have that big yard you’ve always wanted. Your kids are old enough to learn the responsibility of caring for a pet. Or maybe you decided a puppy will be a great companion for you and your family. These are very common, real-life scenarios we will all face at least once in our lives. So, now that you’re thinking about it, what is the next step?
Speaking from personal experience, this is a big decision to make. So many people get a pet without doing the research and then, after the honeymoon phase is over, find themselves in a difficult place. Whether or not you are looking at adoption, breeding, getting a “working” pet, or just finding a fun-loving house-mate, there are a few things to consider beforehand. Believe me, I’ve been in your brand new, un-chewed shoes…you know, the ones you had before the pet arrived. So I know where you’re coming from.
Here are some things to consider:
1) Activity level: Are you a runner? Or is your idea of a workout just getting out of bed in the morning? Maybe you’re somewhere in between these two extremes but, either way, this is definitely something to take into consideration before buying your cute puppy.
Top 10 Dogs for Lazy Owners:
Great dogs for the Active Owner:
2) Work schedule: My husband is an accountant, which means for about five months out of the year he works long hours, six days a week. He isn’t home to assist with pets, much less anything else around the house. When he is home he’s reading stories to the girls, cooking meals, and more, but during “busy season” I know that much of the household duties will fall to me, which includes caring for a pet. Consider how much time your pet will be alone at home without a companion. This should determine the breed and age of the pet you decide to get. Older pets can obviously last longer between bathroom breaks and certain breeds do well with a lot of quiet time during the day.
3) Ages of family members: My girls are both under the age of 3. The house is filled with high-pitched squeals and the pitter-patter of little feet on a daily basis. How old are the people in your home? You’ll need everyone to pitch in with the pet duties so, even if your little ones are toddling around like mine, they can still learn to help out with your furry family member. Also, consider their age as a safety issue. Are they old enough to understand how to treat a pet without harming the animal or themselves?
4) Travel frequency: Is your work constantly taking you out of town? Do you visit your family every other weekend? Are you able to take your pet with you without causing too much hassle on you and your family? So many people forget about the pets when making travel plans, but I have learned to consider this before purchasing the plane tickets or reserving the hotel rooms.
There are some pets that will do fine at a kennel or boarding facility while you’re out of town but, in my experience, most dogs and cats prefer the one-on-one attention of a pet sitter while they stay in the familiar environment of their own home. If you do plan on making a trip out of town, start looking for a pet sitter at least a month in advance. That way, you give yourself enough time to meet your new sitter and have them do at least one “dry run” before you go out of town. Remember, when it comes down to it, the most important things are your pets’ happiness and safety…and your peace mind.
Not sure which pet to get? Here’s a list of the Top 5 household pets. Enjoy!