To a pet, their owners are their entire world. Bringing an animal into your home can be one of the most amazing things you could ever do for them and for your own family, but this isn’t a decision to be made lightly. Pets are living beings who have lives and needs and wants, just like you do; and far too many lovely animals end up abandoned or hurt because their owners weren’t prepared to look after them. Here are a few questions to consider before bringing a cat, dog, or any furry friend home.
Do you anticipate having a stable life?
Dogs and cats can easily live to be over 10 years old, and since most people consider younger animals before older ones, you’re looking at having an animal in your life for at least that long. Consider whether or not you’ll be moving, pursuing relationships, or having children during the next decade– and then consider if you’ll be able to bring your furry friend along for the ride.
Will You Look After Them?
A lot of parents get dogs or cats for their children, but what will you do when the novelty of a new pet wears off? Kids can quickly get tired of walking a dog every day, or changing cat litter frequently, but you can’t just leave animals to be neglected. Think about what disciplinary measures you’ll use if the kids stop taking care of their pets properly, and consider if you yourself have the energy to take on the responsibilities to care for the pet when the kids get bored or move away from home.
What About Allergies?
Does anyone in your life have allergies to cats or dogs? What will you do if a potential partner or their children have allergies to your pet? What will you do if they just can’t get along with your animal? Some people just hate pets, and some people have allergies so bad that they feel like they’re sneezing out their organs when they’re around animals. You can’t bank on everyone in your life loving your pet, and you have to think about what you’ll do when that happens.
Can You Afford a Pet?
Lastly, decide if having a pet is affordable for you. Cats and dogs aren’t cheap– you have to pay for food, veterinary visits, vaccinations, medications, toys, daycare and boarding, grooming, and all sorts of other things. On top of that, emergency vet visits can cost a fortune, and you need to know what to avoid in order to keep your animal as healthy and happy as possible.