Pets provide many benefits to people from companionship to reducing stress to helping become more physically active. But how does one decide which pet to get?
Keep in mind that when you chose a pet you accept responsibility for the wellbeing and health of a living thing. Pets require a lot of attention and care.
Mislead expectations are a big reason why people give up pets. Think hard about the decision and do plenty of research.
Do you already have pets? Will your current pet accept another pet of the same or different species? Pets are territorial so often pets do not get along. It is great when they get along but it doesn’t always happen.
What kind of pet are you looking for? Do you want a couch potato or a pet that is high energy and requires lots of exercise?
Are you able to provide the amount of attention that a pet will need. Dogs are pack animals and do not do as well alone during the day as cats may.
Do you have the time and patience to train a pet? Puppies and kittens are a lot of work and usually will chew or damage some items in your home.
What if you are absent from your home for a period of time, will you be able to find someone to care for your pet?
If your pet gets sick it can be costly. Do you have the reserves for an emergency fund? Does pet insurance fit in your budget.
Once you have made your decision that a pet is right for you, the first place to stop is the humane society or contact a rescue group. There are many pets that are in need of a home. Rescued pets come already spayed/neutered and vaccinated which can save you a lot of money compared with buying a pet from a store or a breeder for several thousand dollars and then paying for the sterilization surgery and initial vaccines on top of that.
By: Dr. Aileen Lugo
Pet Doctor at Home