Can you take care of yourself and Miss Snowball at the same time? It’s a huge investment, and sometimes the answer is sadly no.
Are you responsible enough?
Unfortunately a lot of people take pet ownership lightly and it results in crowded shelters and abandoned animals dying without help. Domesticated animals normally don’t fare well if not being cared for by humans. It is important to remember this when thinking about getting a pet.
Know that this creature will likely be in your life for a long time, some animals can live longer than us so it could be for your entire life depending on the animal.
You need to be ready to accept responsibility for the well being of the animal and make sure its needs will be attended to.
The initial costs for a puppy or kitten within the first 12 months can be anywhere from $2000 to $3000 and this is if everything goes well with its growth into full size. You’ll need to get things like a place for the animal to sleep, eat, stay active, most likely an animal carrier, etc.
The young animal will need its shots, plus possibly spaying or neutering.
It isn’t over after the first visit to the vet
Now you have to make sure your new friend is well cared for. Their food and grooming can be expensive. Before buying a pet you need to make sure that you have an emergency fund available for the animal that should hover around $5000 or so for unexpected occurrences.
If you don’t have an emergency fund it would be wise to consider some kind of pet insurance. This way you aren’t making a life or death decision for your beloved pet should a sickness or injury happen.
$5000 might sound like a lot of money. If it is, then start small but have that amount filled as soon as possible. Or get pet insurance and have an emergency fund of maybe $1500 to fill the gaps.
Ignore this and there is a pretty good chance you’ll regret it.
You can do a little bit of research. Certain breeds are notorious for having medical issues surface. Get a pet that is known for being mostly free of damning health issues.
Think twice about trends
Don’t just buy an animal because it’s the new trendy thing to do. Perfect example of this ending in disaster is the release of the 101 Dalmatians movies. Shelters receiving Dalmatians were taking in more than 30% more of the dogs after the movie remake was released and families realized how much work Dalmatians were.
They aren’t the best dogs around kids and require a lot of exercise. So instead they all ended up in the pound by the thousands. It is important that you think about the animal and its specific traits.
How do they jive with your own life?
Doggo needs to run as much as you do
If you aren’t a terribly active person, you should at least have a massive yard or house that your furry friend can run around in. They need just as much exercise as we do, if not more. Take this into account when thinking about a pet and which one would be best for you.
If you do have a small living space but want a larger animal you best get in shape. 3 daily runs is going to be your new regime to make sure that your pet is keeping healthy, just as we should ourselves!
It isn’t the end of the world if you cannot make the time for 3 runs per day. See what your area has to offer for a membership to a dog walking service. Then at least while you are at work your furry family member isn’t just sitting bored around the house.
Is your place pet friendly?
Having a curious pet around can be similar to having a curious toddler around. They like to explore and get into things. It is important to pet-proof the home. Make sure any plants you have are not toxic to your pet if they eat them.
Keep things that they could get into that are poisonous or bad for their health up and out of reach. Think about the same things as you would with a kid. Where are the cleaning supplies located, electric cords, curtain strings, small things they can eat. Go through your whole place and make sure it is safe for your pet.
Think about emergencies as well. What if you need to leave your property in a rush? Do you have some supplies set aside to make sure your pet can go with you?
Organize a small collection of things just in case you need to leave in a hurry such as some food and water, a leash or carrier of some kind, the animals paperwork and health records.
No knee jerk decisions
Know for sure you really want to care for a pet before you get one. They will make a huge mess and you are going to have to clean it up. Period. Treat it the same way you would getting a tattoo.
What if I don’t like it in a few years?
Its going to be with you for a long time regardless of how your life changes and one day it might not look as good as it did when it was new! Don’t take pet ownership lightly. If you cant see yourself taking care of a human child, then don’t get an animal child.
The same level of care is necessary and the pet deserves to be treated just as well.
Do your homework and make sure it’s the right decision for your lifestyle, finances, and living conditions.