When you are thinking of bringing home a new pet you have so many decisions to make! From choosing your pet type, breed, where you get them from, and even the time of year you want to get them, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. There are a few essentials that you should keep in mind as you go through the process.
Prepare to make a good choice: Depending on the type of pet you are getting, it can be a very long term commitment. You want to ensure that you are prepared for the lifespan of the pet. While dogs often live over ten years, many pets such cats and birds commonly live 20 years or more! If you are not sure you want that long of a commitment, look at either adopting an older pet or other small pets that have shorter lifespans. If you already have a pet at home, consider if and what kind of additional pet your resident pet is going to enjoy having in your home.
Also, consider your budget for pet ownership. Include everyday items, such as food and water, but also grooming, yearly vet expenses, and recommended preventatives. Don’t forget about costs associated with when you travel and can’t bring them along with you. Don’t just assume friends and family can do it for free!
Understand their needs: You also need to consider an animal’s energy level and what they need in order to live their best life. Read about their breed standards to try to find a good fit. While mixed breed dogs can be a great choice, understand that their personalities are often unique from either parent breed. Foster-based rescues can be a great option when they can tell you more about that pet’s personality.
Remember that there are also a lot of small animal companions that can make your heart and home full that may not need the amount of maintenance and time that a dog or cat might. Rabbits, guinea pigs and ferrets all make great pets for the right homes and may be a better fit for homes that don’t have the time to dedicate to a dog or cat.
Plan for success: Make sure that you discuss with the whole family and make sure they are on board before the pet comes home. Discuss boundaries before they come home. Pets learn the house rules best if everyone is on the same page. It is also important to agree to a care plan for your new pet.
Start your ownership adventure: Finally, ensure that you have everything purchased before your new pet comes home. A little bit of research online can give you shopping lists specific to many species of animals to ensure that you are prepared for your new addition. This will allow you to rest easy and enjoy having a new family member instead of having to run for supplies in a hurry.