How to Choose a Pet for Your Home?
Most people have a pet in their homes. In the US, 38.4% of homes have dogs while 25.4% of homes have cats as pets. People also keep birds and other exotic animals as pets. Many people even love to keep multiple pets. So, it is not surprising if your kids demand that your home has a pet.
Getting a pet is a big decision because you are not getting a toy but a living being. You need to take care of it for many years. There is an investment of both money and time required. If you were planning to get a pet, then go through our guide. We tell you how to choose the best pet for your home.
Know about the animal
You need to know about the different animals/birds, you can get as pets. It is also important that you do some research on the applicable laws. While many people love exotic pets, not all such pets are legal. Ensure that you comply with the local laws before you get a pet. You need to do a lot of research to know about the animal you are getting. This will help you make a decision.
If you want a pet for ornamental purposes and don’t intend to interact with it, get a fish. While goldfish are popular, there are many other types that you can consider. If you want an intelligent pet that lives for a long time, get a bird. Large birds like African Greys may even outlive you. They are fun to have as a pet and are smart. But maintenance can be a problem.
If you want a social animal, then the dog is the best choice. A dog is faithful, and friendly, and will be a friend to your kids. It is one of the best pets. But get a dog only if you can give it time and love. Cats are also good social pets, but some cats tend to be aloof. There are many cat and dog breeds. Do research, and understand the pros and cons before choosing one.
Consider your lifestyle
Before getting a pet, consider your lifestyle. Would someone be at home during the day times? What will you do for the pet in the mornings? Can you spend time grooming and playing with the pet? Is there space within the house and outside for the pet to move? Depending on all these factors, choose a pet. Know about the size of the pet, its temperament, health issues, life span, and requirements for exercise. If you can take care of these issues, only then go ahead getting the pet. Else, you can choose a smaller pet or one that doesn’t need much attention.
Never impulse buy
You may take your kids to the pet store. They see a pet or an exotic breed they like. Both you and the kids get excited and you buy the pet. This is an impulse buy that can cause problems for you and the pet. Never impulse buy as you will end up getting a pet you don’t know about. Always do a proper search and decide what you want before going to the pet store. Where possible, try to adopt or buy from ethical sources.
Know the costs
Pets are not cheap to maintain. There are many costs involved. The initial price of the pet is only one of them. You need special food for the pet. There may be supplements, vitamins, etc. to be given. Then, you need to buy a cage/aquarium, or other accessories. You need to take the pet to a veterinarian for regular visits. All these add up to money. Do your calculations. Go ahead only if you can afford to spend the money. Don’t make the mistake of realizing that you cannot afford to maintain the pet later on.
Dogs and cats can cause allergies in some people. This is because of the dander or mites present on their skin and hair. Not everyone has this problem, but some people may have strong allergies. They may develop asthma due to exposure to allergens. Look for a ‘low allergen’ pet. At any cost, avoid pets that your family members are allergic to.
Consider the needs of the pet
Each pet animal has specific needs. You need to be aware of these needs and be able to fulfill them. Take a conscious decision on whether you can cater to the animal’s needs or not. If the answer is no, then don’t get a pet. You are getting a living being home that needs to be treated with love and care. If you cannot provide it for whatever reasons, then don’t get such a pet.
Dogs need socialization. If your family members don’t have time to socialize with them, then reconsider your decision. Dogs also need plenty of exercise. They need space to move around and need to be walked. They also need toilet training. Ensure you can provide for all this. Cats have specific needs like litter boxes and scratch posts. They would also like to move outside, so consider giving them a way to go out.
Know the pet’s temperament
The temperament of your pet is a factor to be considered when choosing a pet. Apart from the temperament of the animal, you also need to keep in mind the temperament of the breed. Each breed has its own features. Also, each individual animal has a distinct behavior. Some animals are highly energetic, while others are quiet by nature. There are others who tend to behave aggressively.
Some animals require a lot of care and want to be pampered. Others like to be left alone. Dogs and cats can bite, as can other animals. You need to study the behavior of the animal before choosing it. Ideally, get your pet when it is young. This will allow you to train it and help it get adjusted to you and your home. If required, you can work with a pet trainer to make your pet a well-behaved one.
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