Lifestyle

What You Need to Think About Before Getting a Family Pet

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A beautiful mother, son and daughter family washing their pet dog, a bulldog outside in a metal tub.

There is something exciting and fun about adding a pet to any family and finding the right pet for yours can help your family to have an even better time together. There are tons of options for great pets, so if you do the research, you can find a pet that will fit perfectly into your family. If you are adding a pet for the first time, there are a few things you should keep in mind to help you choose the best pet for your situation and your family.

Costs

Understanding the costs of a pet is essential. Of course, there are the initial costs of purchasing or adopting the animal, but you also need to think about long-term costs like food and emergency costs like vet bills. Smaller animals tend to be less expensive over time, but if you have room in your budget a dog or a cat can be a great addition to any family. Before you decide on a pet, think about your monthly budget and how much you can afford from day to day, this will help you to find a pet that will bring you comfort and fun without breaking the bank.

Sharing the Responsibility

Sometimes families struggle to find their rhythm with pet care but figuring out how you will share the responsibility in the first place will help you to avoid issues down the line. Take time to figure out what responsibilities each family member will have and put together a schedule that will help you all to take care of your pet’s needs. It can be helpful to build flexibility into the schedule so there is room to make changes as things come up.

Depending on your children’s ages, they will have different abilities to help take care of the animal, so make sure to keep that in mind. When everyone works together to take care of your pet, life is a lot easier.

Child-Friendliness

You must choose a pet that is appropriate for your children and their ages. Small pets are great for kids, but if your children are too young, they may not be ready to handle them as well as they need. Dogs can be a great fit for growing families, especially if you take the time to do your research. There are many dog breeds that are especially ideal if you have small children. Poodles, bulldogs, and beagles can all be great family-friendly pets who love kids and are careful in their interactions.

Pet Sitting

Having a network on hand to take care of pet sitting needs can also help you make sure that your pets are well taken care of. It’s important to know in advance where your pet will go if you need to travel without them. Maybe you have a friend, family member, or neighbor who can watch your pet. If not, and if you have the budget for it, there are professional kennels that will watch your pet while you are away. It is okay to choose any kind of pet sitting arrangement that works for you, just make sure that you have something lined up so you can get the help you need.

Training

Different pets require different amounts of training, and that training can be expensive and time-consuming. It is a good idea to choose a pet that has a level of training needs that you are comfortable with financially and have the time to do. No training can be done effectively if you aren’t consistent, so if you don’t feel like you have the time or money for training that should affect what kind of pet you choose. Sometimes you can find well-trained dogs at the shelter, and smaller pets like hamsters or guinea pigs generally don’t require any investment in training.

Energy Levels

Finding a pet that is a good energy match for your family is essential. Some breeds of dogs require large amounts of exercise every day to be able to stay calm, healthy, and happy. In most cases, animals that have the right amount of exercise are better behaved and less likely to cause problems. If your family is low energy or getting a pet for the first time, it might be worthwhile to get a small animal or an older dog that doesn’t need frequent exercise.

Space Needs

It is also a good idea to consider the space you have available before getting a pet. Some pets only need a small living space to be perfectly happy while others will be happier with a yard and plenty of room inside. Others don’t need a lot of space if they are getting enough exercise. Make sure to think through the space you have before deciding on a pet. There isn’t always a direct correlation between the size of the pet and the amount of space they need, Great Danes, for example, are huge but don’t necessarily need a huge yard, as long as they have a spot to lay down in.

Adopting VS Purchasing

When you are considering getting a pet, it is important to look at all of your options. People know that shelters tend to have dogs and cats, but they also often have small pets like rabbits, ferrets, and other fun critters. If you aren’t particular about the specific breed or age of the animal you are getting, you may want to think about adopting. Adopting can be a great way to get a pet for less initial costs. If you do have specific thoughts on the breed and type of animal, or you specifically want a puppy, purchasing from a breeder may be a smarter option. 

Adding a pet to your family is a great idea that can help you to bring your family closer and have a lot of fun. The more time you put into finding the best pet for your family, the more successful the integration will be and the easier adjusting to life with a pet will become.

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