Choosing a pet to be a part of your family is not only exciting, but sometimes confusing. Our following suggestions of “Dos” and “Donts” will help you consider your options.
- Do your research before getting a pet so that your new family member suits your needs and lifestyle
- Assess your lifestyle and get a compatible pet to keep you and the pet happy and healthy
- If getting a pet for children, assess whether or not they are responsible enough to take care of the pet
- Look at the average annual cost of owning different pets and choose one that fits your budget
- Check the local laws and housing contract to ensure that you can legally keep your pet with you
- Get an allergy profile done to ensure that you or your family members don’t get a reaction
- Be prepared to give generously of your time
- Expect the odd mess around the house and to have your patience tried.
- Get a pet as a Christmas/birthday gift
- Get a pet on impulse as it can be stressful for you and the pet in the long run
- Try to assess what your life will be down the line—
- Get a pet that may be difficult for you to handle, as it can take a toll on you and be unfair to the pet
- Get a pet if you’re short tempered – they will try your patience!
Where Should You Get the Animal From? The Wild, Store, or Shelter?
Wild Animals as Pets
Wild animals – be it feral cats or dogs, sugar-gliders etc don’t do well as pets as they’re accustomed to being with their kind and living in the wild.
Some wild animals are downright illegal to own and you can face swift legal action if you are caught having them as pets.
If you get your pet from a reputed breeder then you’ll be able to get the medical details, pedigree, etc. and could possibly have a show-quality animal, if that’s what you want. NOTE that pedigree animals can be extremely expensive, so check it out before you promise to your children!
In addition, puppy-mills are a real thing where dogs and other animals are used and abused, so please buy with care.
Adopting an Animal
If you can, it is always a good idea to adopt an animal from the local shelter as you’ll be able to give an innocent animal a loving home and happy life. It’s the ethical thing to do and, if you can, please do consider this option.
Keep in mind to always assess the temperament of the animal. Bringing an older or less than passive animal into a house with small children needs to be given very careful consideration.