“It’s so cute! I want one!” We hear this way too often before somebody gets a pet. Yes, they are cute but please don’t ever get a pet just because of that. Know that if you are considering a cute kitten or puppy, it will grow up into an adult. It’s quite possibly years and years of commitment that we are talking about, definitely not a decision you make lightly. If you are sincere about looking after a pet, give the following points some serious thought before going ahead with it.
Are You Ready to Commit Your Time?
Depending on the type of pet you’re thinking of getting, this does vary. Say for example a fish, it requires less time commitment as compared to a dog or a cat. After all, you won’t have to walk your fish, potty train it or send it for grooming. If you have a very hectic schedule – be it work or social life, you do need to plan and manage your time wisely so that you ensure you have time for your pet. Again, depending on the pet, there are a bunch of things to consider such as feeding, training, grooming, clean up and leisure times.
Are the People You Live with Ready for a Pet too?
If you live with others, it is absolutely crucial that you have a proper sit down talk with them about the pet you’re planning on bringing home. There will be changes to the living space, considerations about sounds and smells etc. It can be a big change and it is not just temporary. These are the people who will likely be playing a part in helping to look after your pet too. Do some research together about the type of pet you are getting so that everyone has a better idea of what to expect and how to care for it.
It is important to be clear about this because you really don’t want to bring home a pet only to send it away a couple of days later. If someone in your household has an allergy towards animals, you need to be mindful of the type of pet you get. A hypoallergenic pet could be an option in such cases.
Are You Financially Stable Enough?
Looking after a pet is probably a lot more costly than you would imagine. There’s food expenses, grooming, vaccinations, veterinary care, toys etc. Depending on the pet, some owners choose to buy pet insurance as well. If you are going to have a dog or a cat, bear in mind that they can cause a mess around the house (eg. Scratches, urinating on furniture, knocking things over). Here’s a tip: buying taste deterrents to coat your furniture can be an effective way to stop your pet from chewing on furniture.
Getting your own pet is a big commitment, you’re basically adding a family member. As much as it is going to be tough, it is going to be a beautiful journey. Just ensure that you’ve given it enough thought and prepare yourself to be a great pet owner.