Many of us love animals, but getting a new pet is very different to visiting friends who have pets or taking the occasional trip to the zoo. When you bring a pet home, you have to assume responsibility for your new furry friend, and this involves a level of commitment. If you’re thinking of buying a puppy or a kitten, or you’re considering adopting a pet from a shelter, here are some tips to take on board.
When we think about the prospect of becoming a pet owner, we tend to focus on the endless cuddles and unwavering companionship, rather than the cost. The truth is that owning a pet can be expensive. If you’re exploring the possibility of getting a pup, for example, you’ll need to factor in the cost of buying food, a bed, and toys, as well as vets bills, insurance, dog training classes, and a dog walker or boarding if you work full-time or you take short breaks or a vacation. It’s an excellent idea to do some research and get an idea of how much it’s going to cost you to keep your new best friend. Make sure you can afford an extra mouth to feed before you commit to adding to your brood.
When you get a pet, it will take up time. If you have time available to walk a dog, change cat litters, or clean out a rabbit hutch every other day, there’s no need to worry. If you’re already rushing around like a headless chicken, you struggle to find any time to relax, or you spend a lot of time away from home, think carefully about whether you really want a pet and what type of pet you want to buy. Dogs, for example, require a huge amount of love and attention, they need a lot of exercise, and they cannot be left alone for long periods of time. Cats are much more self-sufficient, they can be left for longer, and they don’t need you to walk them.
If you’re planning to get a puppy or a kitten, you may need to consider investing both time and money in training. Kittens tend to learn very quickly from their moms, and in most cases, by the time you bring a kitten home, they’ll be eating adult food and going to the toilet in a litter tray. Nevertheless, there may be times when you have to coax your kitty into the litter tray and make sure they steer clear of bed linen, sofas, and blankets when they need the toilet. Puppies require more intensive training, and it’s a good idea to buy puppy training pads and to look into obedience and socialization classes as your pooch grows. It’s wise to embrace a more relaxed approach to life at home if you do plan to introduce a new pet to the fold. With a dog or cat in residence, your home may not look quite as pristine as it used to.
If you’re thinking about expanding your family, it’s always wise to think about whether you’re really ready to commit to a new furry friend.