When you see an animal at a pet show or a pet store, it can be enough to make you want a pet them or cuddle them right away. However, no matter how cute that particular animal is, you have to be sure that the pet you get, is the right pet for your family. Following are some tips to help you pick that pet.
1. What kind of care will the pet need? If you’ve had a pet before, then you are aware of what kind of care they need. If you’ve never had a pet before, then you’ll need to do a little bit of research to find out how much care they need. For instance, in general, dogs require more care than cats.
Each type of pet requires a different level of care. And each family has their own amount of time available. Therefore, you want to be sure that your family chooses a pet that you have proper time to care for.
2. Why do you want a pet? Different types of pets fulfill different wants. For instance, if you want a pet that you can be active with, roughhouse with, and generally play with, then a dog is probably what you want. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a pet to play gently with and to pet, then a cat may be more your style. That’s not to say you can’t play with a cat or pet a dog, but most cats don’t like rough housing and most dogs are not content simply with petting.
If you have children, be sure to include them as well. You will want to consider their reasons for having a pet as they may differ from yours. You may think they want a cat when they’re more interested in watching an animal play that in petting. You may find, in that case, that they would prefer a hamster or gerbil.
3. Is there a particular kind of pet that you really want? If you settle for a pet that you don’t really want, you’re not gonna be as enthusiastic about caring for and loving it. Sure, a hamster or rabbit may be easier to care for, but if you really want a cat, then you should get a cat, presuming you have the time to care for one.
On the other hand, if there’s a particular kind of pet you can’t stand, then it makes no sense to get one, no matter how much the rest of your family wants one. This will of course be a delicate situation, that needs to be handled an individual level. But the last thing you want is to resent your family or the pet because you made a hasty decision.
4. Research the pet that your family wants. Even if you’re getting a dog or cat, if you have children and they’ve never had this kind of pet before this is a great learning opportunity.
For instance, when I was nine years old I was told I would get a cat for my 10th birthday. However, before I was allowed to pick out my cat and bring her home, my mother made me read several books on taking care of cats, and answer questions from each book. At the time I thought it was silly, but looking back, I think it was a great idea. To this day, I still remember that I learned how to pick up a cat from those books.
If you’re getting a pet that you’ve never had before, like a ferret or an exotic pet, then you’ll need even more research. If you’ve had friends who’ve had this kind of pet they would be a good resource, as would books from your library or online information. You’ll need to know ahead of time if there’s any special food requirements or other care instructions that this pet may need.
5. Make sure everyone is on board with the pet. Since pets become the family’s pet, the whole family needs to be ready. You may have to agree ahead of time on feeding schedules, who will take the dog for a walk, or who needs to change the cat box. Especially if you have children, they need to understand the responsibility of having a pet.
Before you bring a pet into your heart and your home, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. While in general, pets are easy to care for, you do need to be as prepared as possible. Hopefully the tips above will help you choose the newest member of your family.