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Six Things to Ask Yourself Before Bringing a Pet Home

Are you daydreaming about taking home an exotic bird, adorable kitten, or fluffy rabbit? Or maybe you’re hunting for an adorable Mini French Bulldog. Whether you are thinking about caring for a big pet or a miniature one, a four-legged friend is always an exciting new addition to the family and one that should still take considerable thought and planning before purchasing (or adopting). Here are six questions you should ask yourself before taking the plunge.

A caucasian family is indoors in their living room on a Christmas evening. The camera focuses on a little puppy.

1. How much are you willing to spend?

Bringing home a pet can carry many upfront costs and more down the road.

If you’re not willing to spend more than it costs to buy the pet a cage, bed, and food bowl, you should reconsider what kind of pet you want.

The more complicated the pet, the more costs will occur over the years.

A dog or a cat will require vet check-ups or maybe even expensive surgery if something comes up, whereas a hamster or fish will barely eat into your wallet to maintain.

2. What does your lifestyle look like?

When considering if your family is well-suited for a new pet or otherwise deciding which pet you would like to bring home, it is good to factor in how much continuous time at home you have to care for an animal.

Does your family do a lot of traveling? Do you spend all day at the office?

Different kinds of pets are better suited to a sedentary lifestyle.

Dogs must be walked daily and should not be contained in small spaces for long periods.

On the other hand, cats do not usually mind solitude or being kept indoors.

3. How much patience are you willing to have?

Training a puppy or kitten is no easy undertaking.

Teaching a pet to be obedient and better accommodate your needs and wants can be difficult.

On a rare occasions, it can even be impossible.

For that reason, you might consider the animal’s age.

Are you picking up an older, more mature pet from the pound?

Or are you wanting to bring home a playful, high-energy pet?

Pro tip:

If you have committed to a hyperactive dog that is a bit of a handful (or you want to treat your pet to a homemade snack), this CBD dog treat recipe will be perfect for you.

A caucasian family is indoors in their living room on a Christmas evening. The camera focuses on two little girls sitting with a puppy.

4. Is cleanliness an issue for you?

If you or your family already find daily household chores difficult, the mess that often comes from maintaining a pet might be the first issue that comes to mind.

Pests like fleas and ticks have a more accessible window into your life if you have a pet, and a flea infestation can take months to battle.

Potty-training a pet will also mean cleaning up urine or feces, not to mention all of the fur or hair that comes with your pet brushing up against furniture or rugs.

For this reason, people determined to keep their house spotless should reconsider bringing home a spontaneous pet purchase.

5. What would you like your pet’s temperament to be?

Are you looking for a hyper-obedient, leash-trained dog, an aloof cat to admire from afar, or a more needy, cuddly pet that will always want you around?

Different animals have different personalities, and even two pets of the same type will have different characters.

Some of these personality differences might be easy to pick up on, but others might involve specific triggers or contexts that cause the pet to behave in a certain way.

For this reason, asking the pet store or shelter questions about the pet’s history and how much attention/training this pet has received before your care will be beneficial.

Was it previously in a chaotic environment that left the pet insecure or nervous?

This leads perfectly to the next question to consider.

6. How much do you value being an ethical pet buyer?

There are countless examples of pets being harmed or mistreated for the sake of profit and thousands of pets who have been rescued from unfit environments.

If this is an essential issue, it will put you at ease to research where your pet is coming from.

According to the National Humane Education Society, the best ways to take action against places like puppy mills are by supporting local animal shelters or rescue groups and only adopting dogs or puppies from animal rescues and shelters. That way, you will be ready to bring home your pet guilt-free.

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