Family pets can bring a lifetime of memories and joy. And while your children may be begging you for a pet, it just might not be the right time. How do you decide if you are ready to take on the responsibility of a furry family member? Here you can find information and questions to ask yourself and your family to help decide if you should get your first pet.
Decide on Pet Type
There are numerous pets to choose from. Are you looking for a cat or a dog? Or would you rather have fish or reptiles? The type of pet you choose will have the most impact on whether or not you can add one to your life. Keep in mind that dogs and cats will definitely require more space and maintenance than fish.
You also should take into consideration if any members of your household have allergies. Pet dander can be a much larger issue than many realize. And although there are hypoallergenic options for dogs, you can still face issues with allergies. If there are any severe medical issues, it might be best to speak to your family doctor before making any commitments to the type of pet you may get.
Taking into consideration the breed of pet is also important. Cats, dogs, fish, and snakes come in a multitude of varieties and temperaments. Is your family filled with young children that might not live well with a dog that requires a lot of attention and maintenance? Or are there mostly teenagers in your house who would do well with almost any time of pet?
Thinking about how your potential pet would fit into your daily lives will help you to narrow down your list of options. More information on how to choose a pet can be found here https://www.marthastewart.com/1539760/choosing-right-pet-for-you.
Assesses Your Housing Situation
Where you live will most certainly be a driving factor in your pet decision. If you are living in a small apartment it becomes very difficult to have a large pet like a dog. In this type of situation, it might be better to go with a smaller animal like a rabbit or a hamster. You should also check with your landlord if you are a renter. Many apartment buildings do not permit pets, or they might charge an extra deposit or rental fee. You may want to make sure that the extra payments will fit into your overall budget, should you decide you want a pet.
Even if you live in your own home you must think about the space you can provide for your pet. If you are getting a dog or a cat, they will need space to sleep, eat, and for their toys. Dogs will usually require a yard or a few walks around the neighborhood a day. Cats will need some special toys. They will especially need toys if they are not declawed so your furniture is not ruined. A cat scratcher lounge is a common toy, and it can take up some space. Doing your research on the type of items you want to provide your pet will help you determine if getting a pet is right for you.
Deciding who will take primary responsibility for your pet is paramount. Many children ask for a pet but are not able or willing to follow through with committing to taking care of them. Pets are amazing but they are work as well! Make sure to let your children and family members know that if you get a pet that means taking care of the pet’s needs. Someone will need to take the dog out, or empty the cat litter, or clean the cage.
Remember that giving your children more responsibility does not have to be negative It can be a beneficial experience. It can teach them the importance of chores and taking care of others.
You now have some great tips on how to decide if getting a pet is right for you and your family. Remember to think about what is not only best for you and your family but about what would work best for the type of pet that you hope to bring home.