Many people reach a stage in their life where they decide they want a pet. Some people have always known that they want a specific dog breed (such as a labradoodle) whereas others aren’t sure—they just know they want some company in the form of an animal. If you are more of the latter, then you have a huge decision ahead of you.
The pet that you choose will greatly impact your life, from your sleeping schedule to the amount of money you spend on your pet each month. To make sure you make the right decision, here are ten points to consider.
1: Your Lifestyle Preferences
Some lifestyle choices make getting certain pets a lot harder. If you like to spend your weekends partying hard, for example, you should probably steer clear of high-maintenance animals unless you can hire a pet sitter.
If you are a vegan, then getting a cat or a dog might not be a great idea if you aren’t comfortable with feeding them meat, as they need a balanced, varied diet. For those who want to educate themselves on pet nutrition, take a look at 8 facts about probiotics infographic from “Taste of the Wild” to increase your awareness.
2: How Much Space You Have
Some pets require more space than others, so consider that when choosing your pet. If you live in a small apartment, you might opt for a reptile, hamster, or even a fish, as they don’t require much space to run around. If you live in a large house, though, you can home a bigger animal like a dog. Remember that while most cats don’t need as much space as dogs, they still need room to roam.
3: How Often You Are at Home
Do you work over forty hours a week with no one at home during the day? If so, getting a dog isn’t the best option, as they can’t be left alone too long. Cats are generally more independent, so consider a cat if you’re out of the house a lot. If you are at home more often than not, though, then that means you can provide any pet the attention it requires to be healthy and happy.
4: What Pets You’ve Had Before
Generally, people are better at looking after a pet they’ve had before, as they already have the experience of looking after one. Plus, getting a pet you have had before will bring you a sense of nostalgia, and you’ll likely love the pet straight away. Whether you grew up with cats, rabbits, dogs, lizards, or snakes, consider getting a pet that you know all about.
5: Who You Live With
If you live alone, then you have more options when it comes to choosing a pet. When living with others, though, you can’t just bring home an animal from the pet shop and expect everyone to be happy about it! Before selecting the type of pet you want, consider who you live with and whether they will be happy with your choice. You never know if someone in the household has an allergy, or a genuine fear!
For those with kids, you must take their needs into account, too. Many parents opt for small pets for their children, such as hamsters and mice, but remember that a lot of these creatures are nocturnal and might not necessarily make the best pets. For kids, cats and dogs are generally the best way to go.
6: Whether You Want a Rescue Animal
Another consideration is whether you want to buy from a breeder or if you want to rescue a pet. More often than not, it is better to rescue an animal, as it provides a previously unwanted pet with a loving home. If you have a more specific pet or breed in mind, though, you might want to go to a reputable breeder.
7: If You Have Any Allergies
Many pets trigger allergies, particularly hairy ones. Many cats, dogs, rabbits, and other fluffy animals might make your eyes itch and your nose run, so consider this before making your purchase. You could take antihistamines each day, or you could opt for an allergy-friendly pet instead, such as a lizard or a parakeet. There are even hypoallergenic dogs; for example, labradoodles and Bedlington terriers.
8: How Much Energy You Have
Pets such as dogs require a lot of energy from their owners, as they need daily walks and plenty of playtime. Other animals like cats, though, are a bit more independent and will get enough exercise on their own. For those in their later years or with mobility issues, it’s better to get a pet that doesn’t require as much energy, otherwise, they may suffer from a lack of exercise.
9: Your Financial Situation
One of the biggest factors to consider is what your financial situation is. Many pets are expensive, meaning you must earn a stable income in order to provide them with a great life. Don’t worry—not having a lot of money doesn’t mean you can’t get a pet, you just need to be realistic about what you can afford. A hamster, for example, won’t cost you as much as a dog in the long run.
If you want a cat or a dog, take into account costs such as vet fees, toys, and food. The cost of food, in particular, can quickly add up! For smaller animals such as lizards, you still need to pay for the cost of heating the terrarium, which can eat into your electricity bill.
10: The Animals You Love
Most of all, think about the animals that you love the most in the world. If you are a huge dog lover, and you can make it work, then go give a lucky dog the best life possible! If you’ve wanted a rabbit since you were five years old, then thoroughly research its needs and bring that cute little bunny home. In the end, choosing a pet is a personal choice, so make sure it’s one that you will love unconditionally.