You love dogs or cats or hamsters or whatever type of pet you’re considering getting. That’s the very first, and possibly the most important, ingredient for a good pet ownership experience.
Sure, a dog can deter intruders and a cat can keep your house rodent-free – but that should never be the only reason why you’re considering getting one. So, what else do you need?
1. Access to Medical Care and the Money to Pay for It
Pet ownership entails some routine medical costs that you can factor into your budget – but what if your pet ends up needing costly treatment for some ailment? Will you be OK with that? If you’re in the least bit worried, look for cheap pet insurance that can help you to cover the cost of time spent in an animal hospital, surgery, and so on.
2. A Suitable House and Yard
What this will mean depends on the pet. A pet mouse, for example, just needs a cage that gets cleaned regularly. But dogs need space to get exercise and play, even if you do take them for twice-daily walks. Cats like to roam, so for most city-dwellers, indoor life for a pet cat will be the norm.
But indoor cats need playgrounds, toys, scratching posts, kitty litter and more. Are you happy with having them around your house, and where would you put them?
Small space, small pet. Big space, bigger pet. It makes sense. But take activity levels into account too. Even some quite small pets need lots of space to blow off steam.
As for keeping a Great Dane in a tiny yard, that’s right out! Find out how much space and what kind of space the pet you’re thinking of getting will require. If you can’t provide it, don’t go there.
3. A Fairly Easygoing Attitude
Your parrot shrieks loudly, your dog barks, your furry friends leave hair all over the house, your budgie drops seeds out of his cage – just about any pet you keep will leave its mark in one way or another.
If you’re exceptionally houseproud or always like to feel in control, keeping a pet might not be for you! Think this through carefully before committing to pet ownership.
Patience is also important when working with animals. Without it, both you and your pet are going to be very stressed out. Yes, you can train pets, but that takes patience too. Do you have what it takes?
4. Lifelong Commitment
Pet ownership lasts as long as your pet’s lifespan. If you’re likely to move house a lot, or aren’t sure you’ll always have time for your pet, choose a low-maintenance type of pet or give it a miss altogether. Always be sure you want the pet.
Don’t just get one for the kids’ sake. It’s guaranteed: you’ll always have to keep tabs on pet care chores, and having a pet around if you don’t really want one is bad for both you and the animal.
It’s Not All Responsibility and Worry
Owning a pet is a big responsibility, but as long as you have all the ingredients for a happy pet ownership experience, your animal friend will give you a lot of joy through his or her own happiness.
If you’re up to the challenges, you’ll also experience the rewards. Here’s to you and your new family pet. Enjoy each other!