Choosing The Right Pet For You & Your Family

Choosing The Right Pet For You & Your Family

So you think you want a pet?… Now ask yourself, are you ready for a pet?
Pet care requires a lot of time, money and responsibility. It is a commitment in terms of finance, training, housing and everyday upkeep requirements. Do you vow to care for a pet in sickness and in health? If your answer is “I do”, lets find you a pet that best fits your lifestyle.

First you need to decide what species of pet you want; a dog, cat, bunny, bird or something else? This decision depends a lot on what animals you like, the animals allowed by your landlord if you’re a renter, the amount of space you have available, and how your current pets will interact with the new pet. This part is crucial. You have already made a commitment to your current pets, to love and care for them for their entire lives. Bringing in a new pet can create a very stressful situation. To help ease the stress, introductions should be done slowly. Ensure that your current pet(s) have a safe area of the house that the new pet cannot access so they can get away from each other and be sure to spend time with each pet individually.

Second you need to look for your desired pet. This involves deciding the age. Do you want a puppy or kitten? Keep in mind the training a young animal will need as this increases the time commitment to the animal. Would an older animal fit your lifestyle better?  Below is a list of pros and cons of living with the most common pets found in the United States.

Dogs are loyal, loving, intelligent and social. They strive to be upstanding members of the family. They require a lot of time in terms of exercise, training, feeding, and overall attention. Medium sized dogs over five months of age do better with young kids.

Cats, worshiped by Egyptians, are graceful, athletic, playful and cuddly. Unlike dogs, cats can be very independent and therefore may not establish as strong of a bond with its human companion.

Birds, with appropriate socialization and training, can be friendly and entertaining. Budgies are the most popular bird companions. They are gentle, playful, cheery, and can easily be trained to talk thus making them a perfect first bird. Larger birds such as Parrots and Cockatoos, are long lived and very affectionate. However, they usually only bond with one member of the family and sometimes become aggressive towards others. Furthermore, birds can be messy and require daily cage cleaning.

Not ready for the responsibility associated with the pets mentioned previously? Then what about a caged pet? Guinea pigs are a popular option. They are easy to handle, rarely bite, social and are happiest in pairs. However, potential guardians should educate themselves on how best to care for guinea pigs for they have special dietary and exercise needs.

Got allergies? Limited space? You should consider adopting a fish. They are beautiful and add an air of comfort to any home. It may be hard to establish a one-on-one relationship with a fish. They do, however, appeal to the brainy types for, even though they are relatively low maintenance, there is a definite science (nitrogen cycle) to keeping them and their environment healthy.

Most importantly, find a great veterinarian to cater to your pet’s medical needs and who will provide you with information on maintaining a healthy and happy companion.