Choosing the right pet

Things to consider….

Before you get a pet though you really have to understand that this is going to be a 15 or 20 year commitment. There is no divorce in pet ownership, the responsibility required does not reduce as times goes on (pets don’t grow up and move our!) and ultimately you will always, hopefully, outlive your pet.

Make sure you understand this, make sure you can afford to pay for your pet’s feeding, boarding fees, grooming, veterinary care and so on. Make sure you know what you are letting yourself in for if you decide to get a larger or working breed – they need more room, more exercise, more time, can be expensive to feed and are often more prone to serious ailments at a younger age than smaller, less active breeds. Similar is true for pedigree dogs and cats – they will require more care and can often be more prone to ailments than your plain old muttley or moggy.

How to chose

Consider your own circumstances – are you going to be home during the day or out at work? Do you have a small or large garden? Could you put in a pet-flap on your back door? Do you go away much on business? Have you young children – there are some breeds that are extremely docile and excellent with children – Labradors, Retrievers etc.

Consider your desires and instincts – are you a cat person or a dog person? Do you want a little toy lap dog or a bigger ‘mans’ dog??? Maybe something in the middle might be what you want? Do you want a little terrier that can travel around in you car when you work or do you want a bigger dog to keep unwanted intruders at bay?

All of these will impact on what type of pet you should consider – and more importantly what type of pet you should NOT consider. Unless you have a large garden or are going to be at home during the day to exercise your pet then you really shouldn’t consider taking on a large or active breed – it just isn’t fair on them. Consider a cat or a small breed of dog that can go in and out a pet flap in your back door and happily totter around in the back garden all day or lie in the house.

A pet is for life

In summary we cannot make up your mind for you put we can tell you that you should never, EVER, get a pet on a whim or give a pet as a potentially unwanted present.

Take your time, realise that having a pet is time consuming, expensive and a real commitment and then chose a pet that will both suit your own circumstances and also benefit from the amount of time and love that you are able to give. Read more in this site, learn what you have to do to care properly for a pet and then, if you feel you are up to it, start thinking about whether you are able to give a pet the care that they need. If you are, great – outside of the love of your family having a pet is probably the most rewarding relationship you can ever have.