We’ve all been there. You’re at the park, keeping a close eye on your child(ren), when an undeniably cute puppy approaches your kiddos, showering them with licks. They’re overcome with joy and start babbling questions to the owner.
“What’s its name?”
“Is it a boy or girl?”
“Can I hold him?”
Before you know it, they’ve run back over to you with the dreaded question:
“Can we get a dog?”
Don’t get me wrong; I’m an animal lover. But I’m sure I’m not the only one when I say this: having a pet is not for everyone. Before you hop on Craigslist or drive on over to Petsmart, ask yourself these questions.
Do you have the patience?
Animals require training and effort. Believe it or not, your puppy will probably not be potty trained when you get him. And he will probably chew up a pair of shoes (or three). There is definitely a learning curve for new pet-owners. If patience isn’t your strong suit, perhaps you’re better off with an older dog(who is more likely to be trained), or even a cat or a fish!
Do you have the time?
Not only do they require patience, they require time. Sure, they’re fed and bathed and they have a place to sleep – but a lot of the times, animals will want to play with you. Or just be near you. Or need to go outside to use the restroom in the wee hours of the morning. So if you have a jam-packed work schedule and your house is often empty – your pet may get lonely (or make messes while you’re gone). This will either sway your opinion
Do you have the money?
Last but not least – animals cost money. This was something I learned the hard way. Not only will there be recurring costs, such as food, shampoo, grooming, vaccinations, etc., but there will also be (depending on your pet and your situation) one-time costs. When I adopted my puppy, I quickly realized that she had been living outside in a kennel with lots of other dogs. She had fleas, ticks, and worms. I had to take her to the vet and it cost me a pretty penny to get her back in good health.
Plus she had to be medicated for several weeks, which brings me back to time and patience.
If your pet has health issues, consider pet insurance.
Do you have the space?
Like humans, animals take up space. Whether it’s a litter box, dog bed, toys or a backyard to run around in, they need space. If your current living situation is tight – or you don’t have a backyard or nearby park, etc. keep that in mind.
Introducing a new pet to the family isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. Do your research and determine if it would be a good fit for you and your family.
What are some other things to take into account before getting a pet?