So, you’ve decided to bring a furry friend into your home. Congratulations! Pets can bring so much joy and companionship into our lives. However, before you head to the animal shelter or pet store, you should know a few things about what to expect when you become a pet owner.
Here are some important things to keep in mind before bringing home a new pet:
1. They’re Expensive
Pets can cost hundreds of dollars per year in food, vet bills, and other expenses. For example, ASPCA said that the average dog owner spends $1,270 during the first year on their pet, while the average cat owner spends $1,070. So, where does this money go?
According to a national survey conducted by a financial website called LendEDU, they found out that 45% of Americans spend a similar amount or more on their pet’s health insurance as on their own. It means that you don’t only provide food or vitamins to your pets, but you also have to pay for other health-related expenses, like dog dentist, cat spaying/neutering, etc.
2. They’re Time-Consuming
Pets require time for feeding, walking, grooming, and playing. Dogs especially need a lot of attention and exercise, so if you’re not home during the day, you need to hire a dog walker or dog sitter.
3. They Can Be Messy
Pets can be messy, whether they shed fur, have accidents on the carpet, or vomit in the middle of the night. Be prepared to deal with some messes (and maybe even a little extra laundry).
4. They Might Not Get Along With Everyone
If you have little children or other pets in your house, you need to make sure that your new pet is compatible with them. Some animals do better in homes with only adults, while others do great with kids and other animals. You must do your research before bringing home a new pet to make sure everyone will get along.
5. They Need Your Attention
Pets need love and attention, and they thrive on human interaction. Dogs especially crave companionship and can become anxious or depressed if left alone for too long. If you travel a lot or work long hours, a pet may not be the right fit for you.
Moreover, if there’s an urgent situation and you have to leave your pet home alone, you have to make sure that someone can take care of them in your absence. For example, if they need to go to a vet clinic, such as this emergency vet hospital in Valley Cottage, NY, you have to find someone to take them there.
6. They’re Family
Pets become part of the family. As such, they should be included in family activities and decisions. This means considering them when planning vacations, moves, or other big changes. It also means being prepared to deal with the grief if your pet passes away.
Pets bring a lot of love and joy into our lives, but they also come with responsibilities. Be sure you’re prepared to take on the challenges of pet ownership before bringing a new furry friend home.
7. They’re a Long-Term Commitment
Pets typically have a lifespan of 10-15 years, though some breeds may live longer. This means they’ll be part of your life for a long time, so you need to be sure you’re prepared for the commitment before bringing a pet home.
For instance, some cat and dog vaccinations are necessary every year throughout their lifetime. Also, as they age, they may require more medical care, which can be expensive.
8. They’re Not for Everyone
Pets are not right for everyone. If you’re not sure you’re ready for the responsibility, consider foster pet ownership first. Also, you can try volunteering at your local animal shelter to get some experience caring for animals.
In addition, there are factors that you need to take into account when deciding whether or not you should get a pet, including:
- Allergies. If you’re allergic to pets, it’s probably not good to get one.
- Lifestyle. If you work long hours, a pet may not be the right fit for you.
- Housing. There may be restrictions or regulations on the number or type of pets you can have if you’re living in an apartment or condo.
- Finances. Pets can be expensive, so make sure you’re prepared to handle the cost before committing.
Pets can bring so much love and joy into our lives, but they also come with responsibilities. Be sure you’re prepared to take on the challenges of pet ownership before bringing a new furry friend home.
Do your research ahead of time so you know what to expect, and be prepared to make a long-term commitment. With the proper planning and preparation, you will be ready to welcome your new pet into the family.