Getting a Pet: Yes, No, or Not Right Now?

Getting a Pet

If you are considering adding a pet to your brood, there are many questions you have to ask yourself: Is my home large enough for a dog? Am I prepared to empty a litter box every day? What if my children are allergic? There are simple answers to many questions, but others are a gray area. Before you bring a dog or cat home, make sure you know the pros and cons.

Time is of the essence One of the most valuable assets to have where your pets are concerned is time. While there is no specific number of hours that you’ll have to spend feeding, exercising, playing with, and cleaning up after your cat or dog, you should plan for them to become intertwined with every aspect of your day. Some dog breeds are relatively sedentary, but more active pups, such as an Australian Shepherd or Jack Russell Terrier, may need significantly more exercise time every day. Cats don’t need walks, but they’re very persistent when they want attention. If a dog is at the top of your list but you work the 9-to-5 shift, a pet sitter is probably your best bet to ensure your furniture stays unchewed and your dog can get rid of some pent up energy.

Another aspect of pet ownership that requires time is cleaning. When you have a dog or cat, you introduce extra dust, dander, and debris into the air, along with saliva and mud on the carpets and furniture. Furthermore, puppies that are not house trained can leave behind evidence of their bowels and bladder, and it’s up to you to clean it up. While cats use a litter box, there’s still some cleaning involved. There are many different litter boxes available, and some models are even self-cleaning.

Size matters Now, you need to take a look around your home to make sure you have the space for your pet. Both small and large breeds need room to roam, and a puppy will need an open area to play without restrictions. If you like to travel, a small dog or cat will be a much more portable road trip companion; many stores with open pet policies restrict size to 25 pounds or less.

A big dog, however, may make a much better companion for children and, thanks to their intimidating size, can pull double duty as a built-in security system. Chihuahuas, Shih Tzus, and other small breeds may be less expensive but are often stubborn and aggressive, which many might consider a type of canine Napoleon complex.

Pups in the pack Most animal lovers will have no problem telling you that you should have a dog if you have kids. There are many great reasons for children of all ages to have a pet of their own. Not only does taking care of an animal offer them an opportunity to learn compassion and patience, but their pets can also be stress relievers and may be their first taste of unconditional love outside of their parents and siblings.

Hold up It’s easy to extol the benefits of having a pet, but there are reasons to reconsider. If you have severe pet allergies that you can’t manage with lifestyle changes, live in an apartment or condominium that restricts animals, or simply can’t afford the added expense, you might want to postpone pet parenthood. Regarding cost, keep in mind that the first year alone can range from $740 for a small dog to $1,825 for a larger dog and more than $1,000 for a cat. And that doesn’t even include any home modifications you may need to make, such as installing a fence or a dog door. When you have these obstacles, or can’t spend time caring for your pet, it may be best to wait until your circumstances change.

Owning a pet is a responsibility and a decision that should never be entered into without a great deal of thought. So, look inward and be honest with yourself. Maybe you’re ready for a dog or cat right now, or maybe you need to wait. Whatever you decide, know that your future pet will appreciate it.

Source: Penny Martin Image via Pixabay

#philadelphiaveterinarian #gvc #vet #dog #gettingapet

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