Welcoming a new addition to the home can be an exciting time for any family. But what if the new family member has fur, a tail, and four legs? There are always questions and concerns when it comes to buying a pet for the family, and choosing the right time can be hard. How can you know when your family is ready?
Are you allowed?
When looking for a pet, the first question should be whether your building allows it! A lot of rentals will specify no dogs or cats, but smaller animals may be permitted, such as fish, rodents, or reptiles. If you own your own home, then you’re good to go! But if you are looking into welcoming a dog into the family, ensure that they aren’t on the banned breeds list for your area.
Working out cost
When it comes to animals it isn’t just the cost of buying them that needs to be considered, but also the ongoing costs they require. Dogs will need a leash, bowls, toys, and a bed, while cats will appreciate a scratching post. Rodents, reptiles, and birds need their bedding changed regularly. All of these expenses add up! It is also recommended to have some money set aside in case there is an emergency vet bill that may crop out of nowhere.
While it may seem obvious, it is best to check that no one in the family has any unknown allergies to pets that may not have been known before. If you’re allergic to cats or dogs, then living with one will be a very unpleasant experience. You will find yourself with sore eyes, a runny nose, constant sneezing and itchy skin. So if you think you, or any family members, may be allergic then it’s best to take an allergy test before taking the plunge and buying your new pet.
Dedicating time and space
If everything has been successful so far, then working out if you have space and time is the next step towards pet ownership. All animals require a fair amount of time (some more than others) so being out of the house for 12 hours a day may not be adequate for an animal. Some dog breeds require a lot of exercise, so having time to walk them and space in the yard for them to run is essential. Cats need grooming and play time to keep them amused, as well as regular litter tray cleaning if they are a house cat. If they are an indoor cat, then plenty of room for them to roam is important, and if they venture outside, ensuring that your home isn’t on a busy road is crucial! Rodents and reptiles often need space only for their enclosures and extra bedding (usually not too much), but it is important that it is well ventilated and out of direct sunlight, and not cramped in a corner somewhere! Reptiles, rodents, and birds will require extra time as they need to get out of their cages for daily exercise and enrichment to keep them happy and healthy!
The family agrees
When deciding on a pet, it is best to make sure that everyone in the family is on board with the addition! Buying a parrot when your partner has ornithophobia probably isn’t the best way to go. And purchasing a venomous snake when there are toddlers in the house might not be the smartest choice. But if everyone can agree on species and breed, and everything else checks out, then there is nothing to stop the new addition from coming into the home!
Buying a pet is a huge responsibility for any family, and choosing the right addition to come into the home can be a daunting task! However, talking things through with all the members of the household and doing plenty of research can lead any family on an incredible journey of happiness as they discover the lives of being pet owners!