Many people enjoy the company and fulfillment a pet can bring to one’s life. A variety of studies have shown that that pets can combat depression, reduce stress, and may even lower the risks of heart disease and high blood pressure.
“Those people who have managed to create that bond that can exist between a human being and an animal tend to live longer, have fewer heart attacks, get fewer diseases, and when they do get sick, suffer less and get well quicker than others. Children growing up with pets they love and care for seem to turn out to be good parents and perhaps more selfless mates.”
-Roger Caras, A Celebration of Dogs
It would make sense that the popularity of pets remains to be so strong. For those who are looking for a new pet to bring home, choosing one that will be a good match is paramount. Here are some tips that may help you when choosing a pet.
Lifestyle of You and Your Family
One important aspect you’ll want to take into consideration is the type of lifestyle you or your family maintains. Make sure that your chosen pet suits your lifestyle. Do you always prefer to stay indoors? Or are you a very active person? Whether you choose a hiking companion or a lap kitty, there is always a perfect pet suited for you. Are you more active during the day or during night time? Animals such as ferrets tend to be nocturnal animals, while dogs are more active during the day.
You will want to be aware of how much space you have available for your new pet, and pick appropriately. Does your household contain multiple individuals, or are you living in a place by yourself? If you live in a small apartment, an animal such as a rat, hamster, gerbil, fish, or bird may be a better suit. A small dog or cat may do well in this environment as long as it has the chance to run around outside or go for frequent walks around the neighborhood. Do have any other pets in your home already that may clash with a newcomer? Whatever the case may be, you will need to make some effort when researching a proper breed to bring into your home.
Amount of Time You Have
You also want to assess how much actual time you have to bond with your pet. Owners bonding with their pets is just as important for the animal as it is for the pet owner. So, before you decide to choose a pet, know how much time you have. Do you have a hectic schedule? Are you always out of town or do you travel for long hours? Animals such as cats, and specifically certain breeds of cats do better if the owner has to be away at a job for eight hours a day. For some types of dogs, such as, Bichons Frises, are very people oriented animals, and will become depressed if they do not get enough quality time with their human companion.
Be realistic regarding the time you can devote to your new pet and if possible, never hesitate to take advantage of pet care assistance. There are professional pet sitters that can give you a hand in taking care of your pet. Pet sitters can offer daily visits or while you are on vacation, to make sure that your pet gets the right care and assistance while you are away. Not only do you want to allot how much time you have during the day for a pet, but take into consideration the life span of the actual pet.
Affordability of a New Pet
Another factor you will want to account for is to make sure your budget can afford to maintain the needs of your chosen pet type. According to some organizations, the basic yearly expenses for pet owners exceeds over a thousand dollars. Such expenses include, veterinary visits, treats, food, and pet care. If you think you cannot allot this amount of money for your pet, it would be best to not consider having one.
However, if you are willing to do what it takes to meet the needs of your pet, then you can always choose the right one for you. Just make sure that it would match your budget to avoid any inconvenience. Smaller animals such as, rabbits, hamsters, Guinea pigs, hedge hogs, birds, reptiles, and fish, are usually less expensive than a larger animal such as, dogs, cats, pack goats, or horses. So, there are some options for you if you want an animal, but perhaps a less costly critter.
How Well Your Child Will Handle a Pet
If you have a kid, know his or her developmental capacity for understanding how to properly handle and care for a pet. Toddlers and infants can’t distinguish between inanimate objects and animals. Oftentimes, they view animals as moving stuffed toys. They cannot understand that hitting may hurt a pet. A three year old child can learn to respect the boundaries of a pet, yet are still unable to understand that the mind of the pet works differently from his or her own. By the time that your child turns eight, he would be able to understand that the thoughts and feelings of the animal are unique both because your pet is a member and an individual of a particular type of species.
Get to Know Your Pet Pick
Lastly, spend some time getting to know the animal you want before you take it home. You certainly do not want to pick your pet just based on how cute it is. You have to remember that animals have individual personalities. Never assume that an animal will show child-friendly traits based on the details of its species or breed. Ensure that the animal is ready to be approached by your children and that the animal displays affection without scratching or biting. Take turns in handling the animal fairly aggressively to know how it reacts.
A good way to browse different breeds and species and see how they interact with you would be to check out your local human society or animal rescue and control organizations. These places usually have rooms where people can bring in the animal they are considering adopting so they can have some quality one on one interaction with the pet to see how it reacts with your presence. These places also usually have more than just dogs and cats, such as, rabbits, ferrets, birds, and reptiles.
So, if you really truly want a pet, or are drawn to a particular breed of pet, make sure you ask the right inquires beforehand. There is a wide variety of information on the web and at your local library regarding the types of qualities a particular species possesses and what kind of care maintenance it will require. You will be happy that you took the time to honestly assess what pet is best for you, and your new pet will be glad that you did.