If you're thinking about buying or adopting a family pet here are some tips to help you make the choice that most suits you and your lifestyle. Caring for any living being requires passion, responsibility and great empathy so it is essential to understand our new furry friend's necessities. This way both animals and owners will be able to enjoy life together and build a strong relationship based on trust and affection.
Keep reading to get some insight on how to pick the perfect pet for your family:
Regardless of the species you may be considering, all animals that are brought into our homes will need to spend time with us either playing, cuddling or simply going for a walk around the block. For example, cats are usually slightly more independent than dogs so if you work full time a kitty may be a better choice. If you're considering a puppy instead, keep in mind it will need to be walked and trained everyday. You may even have sufficient space to purchase a horse but don't base your decision simply on the space availability: horses require a great deal of attention in order to create a strong bond with their handler so if you're planning on only seeing your pet on weekends think twice.
Pet owners should consider their routine before welcoming a four-legged friend into their homes: if you work from home and enjoy going out for a few hours in the evening, a pup or kitten may be a great choice as you'll be able to monitor your pet during the day while it grows into an adult; if on the other hand you work in an office until late and only want to relax on the sofa before heading to bed, consider a pet that won't need to go for a walk multiple times a day (like a cat, fish, etc.).
Before you commit to such a responsibility, make sure your lifestyle can easily accommodate the needs of a pet. There is nothing worse than feeling like your new friend's arrival has completely twisted you day-to-day routine.
Pets will normally project an image of their owner and we'll often see dogs or horses with their handler and think the two look kind of alike. This is because people tend to choose an animal companion based on their aesthetic preferences and expectations. If you're at that stage where you're still considering a new pet think about your personality and try yo make a choice based on which animal will better suit you and your daily routine. For example, active and outgoing people who enjoy going for a hike or a run may often do so with their dog. Quieter and more independent personalities may see their lifestyle as a match with that of a cat.
No matter which kind of pet you think will best fit your personality be sure to always remember animals are living beings and not objects that can be moulded to our convenience: pets have feelings and personalities of their own. Just as we seek an obedient pet companion that will respect our rules, all animals must be treated with the same level of consideration and empathy.
All animals need a place to live that allows them to behave naturally and in safety. Before bringing home your new furry friend, make sure it will have sufficient room to sleep, eat, and play with you. The living environment for your pet should be clean and welcoming while providing shelter from weather conditions and other animals.
So if you live in a small one-bedroom apartment with no access to a back yard and no parks near by you may consider adopting a cat and not a Saint Bernard. Furthermore, if you're renting there will often be pet policies to follow and permission to have a pet must be granted by the landlord. Those who are lucky enough to live on a farm could buy a horse provided it will have access to a stable for those cold winter days and nights.
Try to see the environment from your future pet's point of view and consider its activity levels before "forcing" your four-legged friend into an unsuitable living situation.
Taking care of a pet can be quite expensive: providing food, health care through regular (and sometimes emergency) vet checkups, training, toys and treats, boarding when traveling, etc are all costs that must be taken into account before making the decision of adopting or buying a new animal companion. A little research beforehand will help make a choice based on what our budget allows for and avoid "surprises" once our new pet has arrived home.
A puppy, kitten or even a fish are not toys that can be returned when they break or if we don't enjoy playing with them anymore. Most domestic animals will live by our side for at least a decade so it is vital that we fully comprehend the weight of our commitment. Those vet bills, that balanced diet and training sessions will add up over the years and we must be prepared to spend the necessary money to take care of our furry friend.
When we choose to welcome a pet into our family the decision should be based on the answer to a simple but important question: "What am I looking for in a domestic animal?". No matter what the reason, we must keep in mind that all living beings come with different needs for which they depend on us. Many potential pet owners may be looking for companionship while others need a pet that will help with work, others wish to show the beautiful physical features of their animal companion. For example, a dog can provide security, fish swimming in an aquarium can be ideal to relax, and a kitten could be the ideal playmate for your child. So when the time comes to pick your new puppy or kitten research its specific dietary and exercise requirements, health and temperamental features, and be sure they will be a match to the reasons behind your choice.
Conversely, be aware that animals all have their own personality and they cannot be discarded once the novelty wares off. If your reason to adopt a puppy is to have an amazing Christmas gift for your kid remember that you won't be able to return it if "breaks" or doesn't work as you expected. Take this as opportunity to teach your children what being a pet owner entails: a long-lasting responsibility that requires sacrifices and plenty of care while bringing joy and affection to the entire family.
For the wellbeing of both your new pet and family, it's vital that every family member agrees to introduce a new member to the "pack". The new addition will affect the routine and lifestyle of everyone living under the same roof so the decision and search for the perfect pet should involve the family as a whole. You may have a housemate that is allergic to cat fur or a partner that is uncomfortable around dogs so never try to impose your decision and make sure everybody is on the same page, ready to share the responsibility and love that come with a furry friend.
The number of benefits of owning a pet are endless and numerous studies have confirmed that owning animal companions will help reduce stress. Parents and their children can form an even stronger bond while learning companionship from their new kitten. Dogs can help their owners with their fitness level while also improving their social interactions. Horses can teach their handlers a great sense of responsibility and self-control. and keep everyone more active as well as increase the sense of responsibility.
If you really want to become a pet owner make sure you are a part of its life from the moment it joins you. Just like a newborn baby, a puppy or kitten will need time to adjust to the new environment and the people around it so be patient while your pet learns to trust you and feel confident around you. Slowly get to know your animal companion and understand how it tries to communicate with you through its body language. Enjoy all the new experiences you'll live together and don't be afraid to set some simple rules that will only help you feel relaxed about your furry friend's behaviour.
If you've made your mind up and want to go ahead with buying or adopting a pet, check out this article where we provide some more useful advice to help you make a well-informed decision.