Identifying the Perfect Pet
Identifying the Perfect Pet
Selecting the perfect pet to fit your family is an important aspect of responsible pet ownership. Some people tend to underestimate the responsibility involved with bringing a new pet into the home and the importance of identifying a pet that suits your lifestyle. Not only do you want a pet that fits in to your family, you want your family to fit the pet.
10 Things to Consider Before Giving a Pet a Home
1. Consider All Your Options. Think about why you’re searching for a pet – someone to run in the park with, cuddle up with at home or to teach tricks to? What type of pet will fit your lifestyle? Do you require a low-maintenance pet, an older pet or a pet with lots of energy?
2. Daily Responsibilities. This is probably one of the most important things to consider before inviting a pet into your home. Discuss how much time each family member is able to devote to your new pet. Create a daily schedule with responsibilities assigned to each family member before your new pet arrives. Think about responsibilities including feeding, exercise, cleaning and play time.
3. Budget. Welcoming a pet into your home is like welcoming a new family member, and making sure that your new pet is an integral part of your life also comes with financial responsibility. Pet owners need to consider the ongoing costs for pet health, such as food, toys, regular checkups and vaccinations. It is also a good idea to investigate pet insurance or set up a savings account reserved for unexpected pet expenses like emergency care.
4. Age of Your Family Members. Consider your children’s ages before you decide on a pet. Think about how they will want to interact with their new companion and how the companion will respond. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that children around the ages of five or six are mature enough to handle and care for a pet.
5. Space Requirements. Consider the amount of space your new pet will require in your home – a collie requires much more room than a hamster. Also remember that your puppy or kitten is not yet fully grown, so you will want to be sure that you’ll still have room for your pet as it matures.
6. Layout of Your Home. Where will your pet eat, sleep and play? Are there any rooms or pieces of furniture that will be off-limits to your pet? It is best for your family to agree on those rules before you introduce your new pet into your home.
7. Location of Your Pet’s Former Home. It’s often best to adopt a pet from a local owner. This way you can consider their current environment and determine if you can provide a similar atmosphere. Additionally, by connecting with a local pet owner, it will be easier to get in touch in case you have any questions after the pet has come home with you.
8. Pet’s Abilities. If you’re looking for a companion that will play fetch, a goldfish is probably not the best match for you and your family. Think about how you would like the pet to be incorporated into your family. Are you looking forward to taking it with you on weekend hikes, or would you prefer a companion that will cuddle up to you when you’re watching TV at night?
9. Allergies. It’s important to make sure that no one in your family has any allergies to pets before you welcome them into your home. Both you and the pet will be disappointed if an allergy is detected after you have brought it home.
10. Health History. Check with the previous owner to find out which vaccinations and shots the pet has already received, and if it has any pre-existing health issues.
Remember, pet ownership is a full-time responsibility and the choice to add a new member to your family should not be taken lightly. Once you have considered each of these items, you will be able to narrow down your search to find the perfect pet to fit your family.