Owning a pet is a huge responsibility.
Choosing the right pet for you is the first step to a happy, bonded relationship. Since there are many types of pets, some may be better for you than others, based on your lifestyle. It’s important to first evaluate your life before choosing the right pet for you.
Family situation: Today, pets are considered a part of the family, but what kind of family do you have? Children can be great with pets, but some may be scared of big pets such as large dogs. Since pets take a lot of time and work to take care of, if picking out a pet for your young child, keep in mind that they won’t be able to take care of it solely on their own. Pets like guinea pigs and rabbits require a lot of care and maintenance, and will ultimately need to be cared for by you, not your child. If an older person is looking for a pet, they may want to consider the longevity and activity of the animal –will they be able to keep up with its energy?
Living situation: When you bring a pet into your home, your home becomes their home. If you live in a small apartment without a yard, per say, will that be the best fit for a dog that needs lots of running? Is your living situation stable? If you move around a lot for work, will having a large dog, for example, be easy to handle?
Time Availability: There are a wide range of time commitments when it comes to pets. While cats just need to be fed and given water but are mostly independent, dogs will require much more attention. If you’re someone who is never home due to work or any other reason, this may not be a suitable time to get a dog, but a cat would do just fine in said environment. All pets need socialization with their owners, but small animals are both happiest and safest while in their cages, so if you aren’t able to spend several hours a day with your pet, something like a rabbit or guinea pig may be more appropriate.
Financial resources: Pets are very expensive, but some are more so than others! Dogs, for example, typically eat more food each day than a rodent would, so the food costs will add up quicker. Dogs also need leashes, toys, harnesses, treats, etc., while a rodent will hopefully need much less. These are things to consider before choosing a pet, because pets are a lot of money.
Activity level: If you’re a couch potato, a pet like a cat or small animal would be seemingly more appropriate than a dog that needs constant socialization, playing-time, and has mega energy to release.
Experience level: If you’re about to own your very first pet, starting with a lower maintenance pet may be the smart decision. Small animals that live in cages are much easier to take care of than dogs that need training, socialization, exercise, etc. If you’re new to the pet game, starting small and working your way up in terms of work load is probably a good idea!
As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local pet store if you have questions on this or any pet related topic.