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5 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Family Pet

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Family pets are wonderful additions to the household. A pet can be a wonderful companion, and a steady part of your life and of your children’s’ lives as you all grow up together. Pet ownership is also a really great way to teach your children about the value of caring for another living thing, and can be helpful in learning some serious lessons about responsibility. Animals make wonderful family members for a lot of reasons, and there are a lot of different animals that you can choose from when you’re thinking about getting a four-legged friend (or less!) to add to the family. We’ll talk about some ideas that can help your decision be the best one possible, so that you make sure you get the perfect animal for you and your family. Everyone’s got their favorite kind of animal, but depending on your family and living situation, some choices might be smarter ones than others. We’ll talk about how to figure out the best one.

1. Consider Your Family’s Size & Age. If you’ve just got a couple of little ones, maybe you get started with a fish, or lizard, or something that lives in a tiny space and doesn’t require a whole lot of interaction or attention. Heck, even a little rodent — like a gerbil or hamster — is a great choice, so long as it’s a cuddly one. The point is, if you’ve only got little ones, adding a pet like a kitten or puppy is going to be a lot like adding another kid to take care of. You want to think about getting a dog when your kids are of the age where they can really lend a hand in caring for one.

2. Make Sure Your Home Is Large Enough. Space is important for an animal, as they won’t have a very great life if they’re not given adequate space to do the things they like to do. If you’ve got a relatively large apartment, cats will be right at home, but a golden retriever might be a little less than happy. Conversely, if you’ve got a giant backyard you might want to keep your cat indoors, but a dog or pony is probably a wonderful idea. Just make sure the size of your pet is proportional to the amount of space you’re able to give it.

3. Plan Your Budget. Owning a pet isn’t free. You’ve got to buy the pet, plan for medical expenses and emergencies (because they most absolutely happen, and almost always when you least expect them), and you’ve got to account for food and supplies on a monthly basis. Before you pick your pet, make sure you can afford it, or want to. Pets bring huge rewards, but they come with a pretty decent level of financial commitment.

4. Do Some Shopping. Look around, and don’t feel like you have to buy the first awesome animal you see. You might even be able to find some type of critter you had never heard of, and make an unexpectedly great addition to your family or household. There’s no reason that it’s a bad thing to take a look at all your options before you make a decision.

5. Take a Vote. When you find yourself wondering – what breed of dog do I want – then it’s a good idea to make sure everyone is on the same track. Take a family vote! See what everybody wants and then make sure your decision strikes that happy medium where everybody feels like a winner. With these strategies, this shouldn’t be a problem, and you can go ahead and enjoy a new addition to your family.

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