Is Your Family Ready For A Pet?

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Perhaps you’ve always wanted to add a pet to your family? Or maybe your little ones have recently been asking you if they can get a pet? Whatever the reason for considering adding a pet to your family, it’s important not to rush the process and to realize that it’s something that it’s worth taking the time to think carefully about. 

The fact is that while pets can be great additions to a family - and can offer a wide range of benefits - they can also be a lot of work. That’s why, if you’re thinking about adding a pet into the mix of family life, it’s important to take the time to properly consider all of the ins and outs of taking on a pet and the responsibility involved. 

If you’re smart about the kind of pet that you choose and select an option that’s a good fit for you and your family, adding a pet to your home could be one of the best things that you’ve ever done. The key is to make an informed choice and not rush into buying a pet without properly thinking it through. 

Photo source: Pixabay

To help you through the process of deciding whether your family is ready for a pet, and which pet might be the best fit, we’ve put together this handy guide. 

Think about your lifestyle 

When considering whether it’s a good idea to add a pet to your family, it’s important to take the time to think about your lifestyle and whether a pet would fit that lifestyle. Or, which pet would fit that lifestyle and thrive within it. 

For instance, say you and your family like to get away and travel a lot, which would mean that you’d probably be leaving the pet quite regularly. While easy maintenance pets like fish, rabbits, and gerbils would be fine with this setup, dogs and cats might be harder to care for if you’re away a lot. 

Obviously, certain dog breeds do travel well, so if you want a pet that could travel with you, choosing a dog breed that travels well could be a good option to consider. You could get your dog a passport so that it could travel easily with you, whenever you’re heading off on a trip. There are lots of resources online for determining which dog breeds travel best, so if you’re keen to choose a pet that can travel with you, take the time to do your research. 

So, bearing that in mind, it’s worth taking the time to think about your lifestyle and how it might impact what pet you choose to take on. What you want to do is choose a pet that will fit your family’s lifestyle, so that caring for them is as easy as possible. 

Consider your commitments 

It’s also worth thinking about what day-to-day commitments you have and how a pet would fit into those commitments. Pets take time to care for, so making sure that any pet that you add to your family will fit around your current commitments is important. 

The chances are that you spend your days at work, while your children spend their time at daycare or school, which means that any pet you choose to get would probably be at home on its own a lot, or at least for a few hours each day. While one option is to get a pet sitter to pop in and check on them, it’s important to realize that this kind of service comes at an additional cost and may not always be affordable. 

While some pets do well when left at home, other pet types struggle with being on their own all day. While cats are happy enough left at home all day, dogs can often struggle with separation anxiety and stress when left home alone for hours on end. So, if you’re out of the house a lot, a dog may not be the best option, but a cat (or other small pet) could probably work well. 

It’s important to take the happiness of any potential pet into account, as well as think about what you and your family want. If a dog is left home alone all day, not only will it be lonely, it may also become destructive or even aggressive, so it’s worth taking the time to really consider what pet would best fit your lifestyle. 

Determine how much time you want to spend caring for the pet

It’s also important to think about how much time you want to spend looking after any pet that you get. After all, pets do require a lot of love, effort, and care. 

While certain pets take more care than others, it’s also important to think about the age of the pet that you’re bringing into your home. Naturally, younger pets require more hard work and dedication, as often they need training and different levels of care. How much care your new pet requires may also depend on its gender - to learn more have read of this handy guide. 

It’s vital that before choosing a pet you take the time to think carefully about how much time you and your family can dedicate to caring for a pet. There are lots of pet choices, each of which comes with different levels of care requirements, from dogs and cats that require more care to fish, guinea pigs, and bunnies that require a little less care and time. 

What you need to think about is how much time you and your family can realistically put into caring for a pet. 

Let’s say, for instance, you choose to get a dog, you will need to have time to take your new dog to training classes on a regular basis, give your dog two to three walks a day, feed your dog, make time to play with your dog, and generally make time to spend with them. 

Whereas, should you buy a rabbit, the care required to look after it is far more minimal. Yes, it will need feeding daily, given love, and its cage cleaned out, but that’s it. Caring for a caged animal like a rabbit, guinea pig, or gerbil takes far less time and effort than caring for a dog or a cat. 

Think about how much money you want to put into the pet 

Another aspect of pet ownership that it’s important to think about is how much money you want to spend on a pet. It’s not just the initial costs, such as paying for the pet and buying all of the essentials that it needs, it’s also thinking about the long-term costs, from food and veterinary care to insurance and everything in between. You need to consider how affordable these ongoing, long-term costs are going to be for you to cover. 

Before you settle on a pet choice, take the time to think about how much money you want to (and can afford to) put into caring for a pet. Pets can be expensive, which is why it’s important to think carefully about which pet is the best option for you and your budget. 

A good rule of thumb when choosing a pet to get is that the smaller the pet, usually the cheaper it is to care for. The lowest-cost pet is usually a fish or a gerbil, followed by rabbits and guinea pigs, with cats and dogs being the most expensive pets to look after due to the amount of food they eat and the higher-priced vet bills. 

It’s vital that you take the time to carefully consider how much you want to put into caring for a pet so that you’re able to choose a pet that’s a good fit for your family’s financial situation. 

Consider how responsible everyone in the family is capable of being 

If the pet that you pick is going to be a shared family pet, then it’s important to think about how responsible everyone in the family is and consider whether they are likely to be able to do their part in caring for a pet. 

Having a pet is a great way to teach children about responsibility, but it’s also important to ensure that you’re choosing a pet that your children have the capacity to be responsible for and can manage. This is often why a lot of parents start their kids out with low-level caged pets that require minimal amounts of care, to help ensure that their kids are ready for the responsibility of a larger pet. 

It’s also a good idea to talk to your kids about this first, to see how they feel about their levels of maturity in regards to taking on responsibility for a pet. 

There you have it, a guide to all the ins and outs of pet ownership. Hopefully, the guide above has given you the insight that you need to determine whether your family is ready to add a pet into the mix. 

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