Things to Consider When Choosing the Right Pet

A pet can be a wonderful addition to your household, but it’s vital to choose one that is the right fit for you, your family, lifestyle and what you may actually prefer – most people have a vision. For example, are you looking for an independent, self-sufficient animal, want a dog that will play fetch or do you long for a cuddly cat who never wants to leave your side? Here are a few things you should consider before making your selection for the right pet.

Care Costs

Take a look at your finances and think about how much money you can realistically devote to your pet. After an initial purchase, there may be vaccinations, worming treatments, annual checkups, behavior classes, and medication for health problems (usually in later life). For example, rabbits, fish, and hamsters are relatively cheap to care for, while the upkeep of dogs varies dramatically (with the Chihuahua apparently topping the list in terms of greatest lifetime expense).

Animal Personality

You’ll probably need to meet a prospective new cat or dog to assess its personality, and it’s important not to buy into stereotypes. While you may have heard that cats are always aloof, some (like the Siamese) are so downright social that they become distressed without a hefty daily dose of companionship and affection. In addition, ask yourself if you want a pet with a strong personality. If you’re more interested in the idea of observing a creature rather than having to tend to its emotional needs, a fish or a reptile might be a good choice.

Pet Allergies

If you already know that you or other family members are allergic to certain animals, those animals will be ruled out straight away. However, if you’re not sure whether you have allergies, try to arrange a visit to interact with the type of animal you’re considering bringing into your home. If your eyes and nose itch or you struggle to breathe after sustained interaction, you might simply be unable to tolerate that pet.

Your Lifestyle

Most dogs need plenty of space and someone who is willing and able to take them on regular walks, so they’re not the best choice if you live in a tiny city apartment and work long hours every day. Meanwhile, most cats are able to entertain themselves for longer periods, and those that need company can often be appeased by a second feline companion. Small or generally caged pets like hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, reptiles and fish are often the most appropriate choices for less spacious homes or busier owners.

Family Compatible

Give some serious thought to how different animals might be integrated into the household. For example, if you want to add a dog to a family with young children, it’s vital to acquire one that is either well trained or easily trainable. Regardless, you need to keep an eye on any dog around young children, so the requirement for attentiveness is another issue to keep in mind. Similarly, it’s worth asking whether small, furry pets like hamsters are good for teaching children responsibility or are more likely to cause serious heartache due to their short life expectancy.

Pet Life Expectancy

While there’s no way to guarantee a pet’s life expectancy, it’s smart to research the averages. For example, dogs typically live for 10-14 years, while cats tend to live longer. Many live for 15-17 years, with some making it into their late teens or twenties while still maintaining decent quality of life. Life expectancy also varies between breeds, with smaller dogs generally living longer than large ones. Meanwhile, if you’re looking into a hamster or guinea pig, keep in mind that they’ll probably enjoy five years of life at most. At the other end of the spectrum, don’t forget that some parrots live to the ripe old age of 70!

Pet Personality

What is the animal’s personality? A snake is relatively easy to care for and can be fascinating to watch or handle, but there’s no escaping the fact that it eats other animals (such as rabbits or mice, typically dead and frozen). In addition, hairier cats need regularly brushed or combed to avoid matted fur and reduce their chances of swallowing hairballs. These are just two examples of unique needs that might be problematic. The trick is to learn about the reality of any prospective pet—if you can speak to someone who has experience with the specific type of animal, you can build up a clear picture of the pros and cons and end up with the ideal companion.

Where to Get a Pet

If you’re looking at getting a cat or dog, there are great reasons to go to a rescue organization instead of a breeder. There are far too many animals desperate for homes, and giving a pet a second chance is a wonderful decision. Some of these animals were obtained from a breeder but end up in the pet rescue or animal shelter because they got lost, the owner’s weren’t compatible and numerous other reasons. However, the downside is that you may not know anything about the animal’s history, so you’ll be unaware of the potential for any hereditary health problems.

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Describes how to choose the right pet for one’s family and offers information on the specific needs of dogs, cats, birds, fish, and such small animals as hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats.

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50 Things to Know About Choosing The Right Pet For Your Family: Tips to Find Your Perfect Pal

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Author: Erica Brunt, 50 Things To Know

Format: Kindle eBook

Binding: Kindle Edition

Are you interested in adopting an animal, but don’t know where to start? Do you even know what kind of animal you want? Do you need help figuring out which pet would be right for you?If you answered yes to any of these questions then this book is for you… 50 Things to Know About Choosing the Right Pet for Your Family by Erica Brunt offers an approach to pet adoption that will match you with a great animal. Most books on pet adoption tell you to get the cutest friend possible, regardless of co …

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