Whether you’ve caved in and let the kids have a pet, or you’re looking for your first pet, there are certain things that you should consider before taking the leap. A huge responsibility and investment, it’s not a decision that you should ever take lightly.
Of course, once they have settled into your home and you’ve gained a connection with them, these worries will become a thing of the past. But it’s still a good idea to be fully prepared ahead of bringing them home.
No matter what the type of pet you’re thinking of getting, here are the top five things you should think about before making your final decision:
The type of pet
Now, this might seem like an obvious one. But it’s well worth mentioning. This should be at the forefront of your mind. Suiting both you and your kids (if you have them) taste’s they need to be a pet that you can realistically look after.
Different households will want different pets – this will also depend on your budget and how big your home is. Before diving in and getting a pet, you need to think about whether that type is the best for you and your family.
For example, even though a dog might be the first thing that comes to mind due to their affection and loyalty, the care that they require means that they aren’t perfect for all families. If you want to start your kids (or you) off on an easier foot, especially if it’s your first pet, maybe a guinea pig or rabbit will be more suitable.
When you have kids, they will promise that they will look after the pet at all times. And while this isn’t as bad if you’re thinking about getting a bunny, a hamster or another small furry, this is a BIG commitment if you want a dog.
Many pets need a lot of care – from walking them to feeding them and keeping them entertained. Which is why it’s vital that you and your kids are ready for the responsibility that comes with them. And while you might love the health benefits that come with walking them every day, your kids might lose interest over time.
The Amount of time you have
As mentioned above, pets take up a LOT of your free time. So it’s essential that you consider how much time you have to care for them before buying them. Without doing so, you might find that you don’t have enough time to look after them – leaving them feeling lonely and you stressed at the prospect of them being home alone all day.
It’s a known fact that pets can be expensive – especially when they require numerous supplies or need operations/medication/regular vet visits. If you don’t have a lot of money, you want to find a pet that’s more affordable and that doesn’t cost you a lot in the long-term.
If you do want a dog or a more expensive animal, however, it’s well-worth saving in advance of purchasing one – so that you know that you aren’t worrying about money when you’ve decided on the perfect dog.
What you need to buy
All pets require certain items. And, of course, you want to ensure that you’re buying the best quality essentials for them. For example, if you’re getting a guinea pig, you’ll need to search for the best guinea pig liners, a cage, bowls, etc. For a rabbit, you’ll need a hutch, bowl, food, etc. And for a dog, you’ll need to buy a bed, food, a lead, treats, etc.
These are all things that you should consider before bringing them home – so that it makes the transition that much smoother. Of course, as with all things, you can buy them more items throughout the year. But it’s good to have the essentials locked down in advance.