Getting a pet is a big deal. A lot of people don’t treat it that way, but it really is. I mean you are promising to care for another life after all, which. Not only that, but you will come to love your new pet so much that it’s unreal. That’s why you should be absolutely certain that you and your partner are ready for joint pet.
If you plow ahead when you’re not ready, not only could you end up hurting the animal you choose to bring into your life, but you could also end up battling for custody of your newly loved pet when your relationship sours.
So what exactly are the signs that you’re ready to get a pet together? You can never truly know if you were ready until you do it, but here are some key indications:
You Both Want a Pet
Before you start looking at puppies for sale or visiting the local Humane Society to pick out the perfect pet for you, the most basic thing that you need to do is to determine whether you both want the pet, and I mean want it. If one of you is indifferent, and certainly if one of you downright doesn’t want a pet then there is a good chance that the animal will come between you and either ruin your relationship or see you sending the furry family member to another home. You need to be more responsible and determine if you both want it and then do the right thing.
You Have Time
If you’re just getting a small pet like a hamster, although they need more time than many people think, you can easily look after them without taking up too much time. If you’re going to get a dog, however, you need to ensure that you both have enough time to exercise and train him, feed and water him, play with him and generally ensure that his well being is cared for. If you can’t both do this and it is likely that you’ll have to leave him alone for long periods on a regular basis, getting a more manageable pet or waiting until you’re both in a better position is the sensible thing to do for you all.
You are Both Energetic
If neither of you is particularly energetic, then you may find it difficult to care for a pet and fully meet its needs. If one of you is very energetic, but the other isn’t, it could lead to one of you doing the bulk of the caring, which unless you have agreed to that being the case in advance (probably not a good idea) could well cause arguments in your relationship.
You Can Afford It
Pets, especially cats and dogs, can be expensive to look after. Apart from their basic needs such as food, vet’s bills and toys, there’s insurance, grooming, beds cages and probably bigger cleaning bills all to take into account. That’s why it’s so important that you both sit down and work out if you can equally afford to pay these bills, and whether you’re both willing to sacrifice those little treats to redirect the money towards your new pet. Money is a big cause of arguments, so this is really important because if your pet needs something they need it!
You’re Not Using it as a Baby Substitute
It’s really not a good idea to get a pet in place of having a baby or to see if you would be okay raising a baby because firstly looking after a pet is nothing like raising a child and because pets don’t deserve to be used in that way. Also, caring for a pet can show the differences that you have in ‘parenting style’ which can cause your relationship to break before you even get to that stage. Then, there’s the sad fact that so many pets get dumped when a baby comes along, and the owners are no longer interested, or the animal and baby don’t get along, to think about. You’d be shocked how many dogs and cats are abandoned because of that very thing!
You Have a Safe, Secure Home
Just like you should never bring a baby into the world unless you have a safe, secure home and a stable relationship, you probably shouldn’t bring a pet in either. For one thing, it’s really hard to find rentals that will allow you to have pets so being in a stable position will help with this and for other, pets need to be free of danger in their home. Also, pets will pick up vibes from your relationship and the way you act, so if you’re having problems, it could really affect, say a cat or dog.
Then, you need to consider that the stresses of caring for a new pet can put further strain on a relationship that isn’t doing so well too. If this happens, then you could face the prospect of not only splitting up and losing your partner but also losing your much-loved pet too. You’d be amazed how vicious divorce proceedings surrounding pets can be – there is a lot of strain to be had when fighting for a furry member of the family to stay with you and it is a strain that is probably best avoided.
Having said all of that, sometimes, you just have to take the plunge. If at least two-thirds of the signs above apply to your and your partner and you’re working on the rest, then giving a pet a home could be one of the best things you ever do – they really can bring a lot of joy into your life. Just remember that pets are not a plaything to be disposed of when you get bored or your relationship ends – they are loving companions who require regular nurture from you. So, be responsible and only bring one home if, after giving it some thought, you believe it truly is the right decision.