From asking yourself why you want a pet to asking yourself why a pet would want to live with you, though, it’s important to consider these questions and all of the questions in between before bringing a new pet into your home!
Why do you want a pet?
Why you actually want a pet is going to be one of the most significant questions you’ll need to be able to answer for yourself. And while this deep question might not actually cross your mind as you stare into the big, bright and shiny eyes of an adorable little puffball, you do need to take some time to soul search at some point before bringing a new one home.
What sort of companion is best for you?
Really take a look at your schedule, activity level, energy levels, hobbies and what sort of companionship you’re looking for in a pet so you can find one that matches your lifestyle. Not only is this a good idea for your sake, but to ensure you and your pet BOTH enjoy and benefit from each other’s companionship! Every type of animal, breed and individual pet has its own personality, so be honest with yourself, because there’s bound to be the perfect match!
How much time do you have for a pet?
Different pets and breeds are, well, different! No two animals are the same, and certain ones may require more attention than others. The type of breed can also have a huge influence on their needs. Basset Hounds and Akitas are known to be fairly low maintenance dog breeds, for example, whereas breeds such as Border Collies and Poodles are known to be more high maintenance. That being said, every pet is a living being with their own unique personality, so it’s always a good idea to be prepared to provide a significant amount of time for them before deciding to bring them home.
How much space do you have?
Space is another important factor to consider when you’re considering adopting a pet. Do you have enough space for both you and your companion to live comfortably, run freely and play properly? Is your space one that’s going to be easily made pet-friendly? Along with your space, you’ll want to verify with your landlord you’re allowed pets before bringing one home if you’re a renter, as well as find out if there is any kind of pet deposit or monthly fee you need to start accounting for.
Source: Sundays Photography/Shutterstock.com
Do you have the funds?
While the costs associated with adopting a pet should be considered, the costs associated with providing for your pet should be considered even more carefully. Being able to provide for a pet is something you absolutely need to be sure of before adopting. Essentials such as vaccinations, exams, medications, collars, leashes, food, grooming supplies, litter and likely some cute interactive cat toys for your new kitty or a new pair of slippers for you after your puppy claimed yours, can really add up quickly!
Can you handle the mess?
New pets can bring as much mess into your household as they do love, so you’ll want to ask yourself honestly if you’re just too OCD or too much of a perfectionist to handle the mess that comes with litter training, chewing and scratching and hair on everything. If you’re very particular about having a clean house, having a new pet may bring with it extra work and the need for extra patience you’ll definitely need to take into consideration.
What happens if you go away for the week?
If it’s time to go on vacation or if you travel for work, you’ll need to know somewhere your fur baby can stay while you’re away or know someone who can act as a reliable pet-sitter for you while you’re away. Even with all of the options in the world, though, you’ll also want to ask yourself: will you be comfortable trusting someone else with your baby and saying goodbye for a week? If you’re a travelling-type, it’s important to note your pet won’t be permitted in a lot of places!
Do you have the time and patience to train?
Training your pet in your own positive way can make for an easier ownership and better bond — that being said, training your pet requires determination, focus and patience. This isn’t a task for the lazy, low-tolerance or super busy types, so you’ll want to make sure you have it in you!
Do you have any other pets?
There’s no reason to avoid getting another pet if you already have a loving and animal-filled home, but you’ll want to make sure you encourage proper introductions! First impressions are hard to correct or improve when it comes to animals, and if left uncorrected, can result in some nasty associations! Along with going uncorrected, going unnoticed can have the same effect — if not worse! If you’re not paying attention to your animals, how they’re interacting or how you’re interacting with them, you may accidentally create some jealousy or even the need to compete for resources between them.
Hoping your dog will make you more approachable and lead to new friendships or dates? Hoping to make your kitty the next Instagram icon? Not only does it not always (or almost ever) work out this way, but for better or worse, this is no reason to adopt an animal! Make sure you’re thinking realistically and considering the worst possible scenarios along with the best before bringing your new buddy home!