If you have decided it is time for you to adopt a pet there are many factors to consider when making this decision. Do not consider an animal to be just a pet, consider that they will be a new member of your family and they have needs just like you do. Before you rush into an important decision like this, realize that the type of pet you choose will have an ongoing impact on you and your family’s lives and will require a certain amount of care, love and attention from you on a daily basis. Know how to choose the right pet before you bring an animal home and you will be off to the right start.
The first things you must consider are your lifestyle and living situation. Do you live in a house or an apartment? Do you have a lot of free time or are you away from home often? If you live in an apartment, you will need to find out if pets are allowed. If you are away from home a lot, you will need to consider that as well. Dogs are certainly man’s best friend and do make wonderful pets but require lots of care and attention. You need to consider if you have time to spend with a dog, playing, walking daily and training. Without the proper attention, training and love, you can create a pet that has bad manners and behavior problems.
If you decide a dog is the right animal for you then you must decide if you want a large or small breed. Consider your living situation when making this decision. If you live in a small apartment, you may not want a large dog. Large dogs have a great deal of energy and in a small living space they cannot expel it. A smaller breed may be a more suitable choice. If you live in a home with a yard, you can choose any size dog that you prefer provided you have more space available for the animal and a yard to play in.
If you are away from home often, you need to consider this regardless of what animal you would like to own. All pets require attention and care daily and also some social interaction. If you have a busy lifestyle, perhaps a cat would be a better choice for you. Cats are more self sufficient and independent that dogs in many ways. Dogs need to be taken outside on a regular basis, where cats can use a litter box to go to the bathroom. Cats do not seem to mind if you are not home all the time, but dogs require more attention and affection from you. If you do not meet the animal’s needs, you may come home to find your sofa chewed to pieces, accidents on the floor, or other disruptive behavior issues. Cats do not require daily walks like dogs do and may just be the right pet for a person who does not have much free time.
Another important factor to consider when deciding how to choose the right pet is whether or not you or a family member have any allergies to animals. One way to find this out is to spend time with dogs and cats and see if there is any reaction. Usually if a person is allergic to animal fur or dander, time spent with the animal will tell all. Do not assume, however, that if you are not allergic to dogs that you will not be allergic to cats, and visa versa. Each animal species has different fur and dander and you will need to spend time with whatever animal breed you think you want to adopt. The last thing you want is to adopt an animal, bring it home, and then find out you have an allergy.
Another important thing to keep in mind is your finances. Can you afford a pet? Make sure you take into consideration that every pet will come with expenses. Food, beds, vet bills, toys, etc… all need to be considered. Animals do require some of their own personal belongings to be happy. Pet food alone adds up in a monthly budget expense so make sure you know you can afford the expenses that come along with being a pet owner.
Every animal deserves a good and loving home. If you decide to adopt an animal and you’ve done your research on how to choose the right pet first, you will help prevent some of the unwanted problems from things you could have avoided in the first place. Once you have figured out which animal will make your family complete, I recommend getting your new family member from a shelter in your area. There are lots of homeless animals in shelters that would love to for you to bring them home.