Whether you have your heart set on a dog, your kids want a kitten, or you think a hamster or gerbil is best for your family, getting a pet can be one of the most rewarding decisions that you'll make. But it's important that everyone in your family understands just how much of an undertaking this is and how they will be responsible for helping to care for the animal. As you're contemplating a furry addition to your family, keep the following in mind.
Who Will the Pet Belong To?
You can go one of two routes when determining who will be the primary caretaker of your new pet. First, it can be a family pet that you all pitch in to help train, feed, bathe, etc. Second, you can appoint someone who will be responsible for taking care of the animal and who will appreciate the benefits that such a role will bring to their lives.
In many cases, having a pet is a great way to teach responsibility and other important lessons to growing children, and under the supervision of their parents, of course, kids can learn these lessons while forging an important relationship with their pet. Whatever route your family chooses, it's important that it's clear who will have what responsibility before the pet is chosen.
Everybody in the family is comfortable
It may happen that you are so jacked up about the idea of having a new pet in the house that you may fail to consider others' opinion about it. Your kids may not be up for a new pet or your spouse may not be too keen on having another inclusion of a furry member in the house. If your kids are comfortable with having a cute, sluggish pet, then an overactive pet may overwhelm them. So make sure all the members have thrown their opinion into the pot before arriving at a decision.
You are able to fit your pet in your schedule
Having a new pet in the house is like having a baby. You need to consider your working hours, the time that you would be able to devote to it, etc. You have to be absolutely sure that you can dovetail your pet's needs with your schedule. You need to think about its grooming, training, medical checkups, exercising and playing, feeding, etc.
You can accommodate as well as afford a new pet
Owning a pet will involve a lot of costs like vaccination, training, pet food, toys, bedding, medical treatment in case of illness or accident, etc. All pets are not alike, their needs and maintenance will differ as per their breed, make sure you consider all the expenses involved before bringing home a new pet.
Accommodation is another important factor to be considered before getting a new pet. Do you have enough space to house a new pet? Do you have a backyard/garden where your pet can play? What about toilet habits? If you can answer these questions, only then make the final leap.
What Are Your Expectations?
When you think about the pet that you're going to get, what comes to mind? Do you see your kids frolicking in the backyard with a large dog? Do you see your spouse curled up on the sofa with a cat? Do you hear the spinning of a hamster wheel? Understanding what you want out of a pet, including how much time you can devote to the animal, is important in choosing the pet that will best fit your family.
If you want a dog for instance, but simply don't have time to care for it, your family may not be ready to adopt a canine. You might open up your options by looking into getting a cat, or another animal that takes less time and needs less attention. Or you may choose to wait until your family is ready for the pet it wants.
Making the Decision: Being Realistic
Ultimately, it can be devastating to a family to adopt an animal without considering the responsibility of caring for one or the expectations that family members have. Dogs that don't get enough attention can become bored, can be overactive, and can drive a wedge between family members. Instead of making this decision emotionally, think about what's in the animal's best interest when choosing which pet, if any, your family is ready to take on.
Once you are in a position to provide the love and attention that a pet will need, then it's time to start thinking about which pet you want to adopt.
Adopting for the Right Reasons
When you bring a pet into your home, you expand your family. This is a long-term commitment, and it's important to take on this responsibility with the right expectations, and for the right reasons. If done correctly, bringing a new pet into your home can bring your family joy, love, and memories that you will cherish for a lifetime.