Getting a new pet is exciting, but unfortunately many people don’t do their homework ahead of time. While life expectancies vary considerably by breed, potential pet parents should consider that the new animal will be part of their family for at least the next 15 years. You must weigh several important factors before you make a final decision on adoption.
How Well Does the Pet Fit Your Family’s Lifestyle?
A family with several small children and a single older adult each have something different to offer a dog, cat, or other type of pet. Before you start researching breeds or looking at animal adoption websites, take some time to consider your day-to-day lifestyle.
For example, an active family needs a pet with an easygoing, flexible personality. One day he may accompany you to watch your daughter’s soccer game while the next day the two of you may go on a three-mile hike. Someone who is more sedentary, on the other hand, would do well with an older cat who isn’t so active anymore. Families who travel frequently should understand that they need to arrange for someone else to care for their pet in their absence.
What About Your Living Space?
While homeowners have more freedom when it comes to pet ownership, you should also be considerate of your neighbors. It’s not going to make you very popular if you bring home a dog who barks night and day. Renters need to make sure they have permission to own a pet before even considering adoption. Keep in mind that you may need to pay a higher damage deposit to move into a new place with a pet. The amount of space you have available for your new animal friend is something else you need to think about in advance.
Responsible Pet Ownership Takes a Financial Commitment
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) suggests that pet owners budget for the following first-year expenses:
- • Fish, $235
- • Small bird, $270
- • Small mammal, $340
- • Guinea pig, $705
- • Cat, $1,035
- • Rabbit, $1,055
- • Small dog, $1,314
- • Medium dog, $1,580
- • Large dog, $1,843
These totals include food, toys, licensing, equipment, routine and emergency veterinary care, grooming, and other miscellaneous expenses.
Choose Carefully and Enjoy
Pets don’t ask for much in exchange for the fun and unconditional love they bring into your home. As long as you have realistic expectations and take your time selecting a new pet, you can expect a rewarding relationship for the duration of her life.
For a child-centered conversation, come and enjoy and learn as Cedar Pet Clinic Lake Elmo’s own Dr. Noemi Plantz speaks about “What Pet Should I Get?":
Wed July 29
Lake Elmo Public Library
Book reading for kids: Dr. Seuss - What Pet Should I Get
(Special appearance by Joso!)