Pets are often seen as cute, cuddly friends who will be your best friend for many years. And, it’s true that welcoming a new pet to your household has some great advantages--companionship, motivation to get out of the house, love, and laughter.
However, there are other aspects of pet ownership to consider before you adopt a pet.
Consider how much time you have to commit to a pet.
Dogs generally are much more of a time commitment than cats. But, for both, you will need to potty train the animal. There is also a bit of behavioral training for both types of animal. For example, if you don’t want your cat on your counters or tables, you will have to train her to know that.
Dogs generally need much more behavioral training. This requires you to invest much of your time to reinforce the behaviors you want your dog to exhibit and redirect those that you do not.
The age of the animal also sometimes indicates how much play time is needed to keep the animal stimulated and out of trouble. Younger animals generally are influenced by their curiosity; therefore, if you do not put the time in to play with the animal they will get into “trouble.”
Before making the commitment to adopt a pet, consider how much money you are willing to invest. Sometimes this answer can help you determine what kind of pet you should adopt.
Obviously, your animal will need food and other day-to-day necessities. Not all pet foods are created equal; therefore, it might be beneficial to do your research and determine the type of food you want to feed your pet to keep him happy and healthy and factor the cost of food before you adopt. Cats are typically litter trained, so cat litter is something that will be a regular cost to you.
Keeping your pet healthy requires money. Your pet will need regular immunizations and checkups to ensure he is healthy. If you adopt a pet that has not already been spayed or neutered that is also something that could become a major expense for you. You may also run into unexpected health conditions that rack up your bill at the vet. Some breeds are notorious for specific health conditions, so it’s important to research the breed before you adopt.
Training, grooming, boarding when you’re out of town, and socialization are also costly investments that you should consider before adoption. How much training will your pet need? Will your pet need regular grooming that exceeds a regular nail trimming? How often do you travel and how will you ensure your pet is cared for when you out of town? Will your pet benefit from regular socialization? Research how much that would likely cost you and determine if you are ready to commit to those costs.
Adaptation to Your Lifestyle
Before adopting a pet, it is crucial to think about how a pet will fit into your current lifestyle. Many pets need attention and stimulation in order to live happy lives. Do you and your family have that time to invest with your pet? Or will your pet be alone for a large portion of the day?
Also, if you have a young family, how will your new pet be incorporated with your children. Are your kids prepared to interact with a new pet?
Are you accustomed to being able to get out of town on a whim? Your ability to do this may change after you have a pet.
Allow for Unpredictability
Are you willing to deal with the unpredictability that comes with a pet? Dogs and cats are naturally curious and they are notorious for getting into things that they probably shouldn’t. This is all part of the adventure of pet ownership, but, for some, this causes additional, unneeded stress, and should be considered before making the decision to welcome a pet into your home.
At Bark Central, we care about supporting you as you build a life with your pet. Contact us today to find out more.