Pet ownership can be a wonderful and fulfilling experience. Pets are playful, cute, loyal, and loving companions that can brighten your mood in an instant. Those who have had the pleasure of owning a pet understand that it can be a rewarding and sometimes demanding endeavor. For those thinking of bringing home a furry new companion, there are factors you must consider beforehand. Here are three things that all potential pet owners should ask themselves before making such a big commitment.
Can You Afford to Take Proper Care of Your Potential New Friend?
While there are several important factors to consider, whether or not you get a new pet to begin with hinges on your own financial capabilities. Providing your pet with the proper quality of food and veterinary care are both of vital importance. If you cannot afford the many responsibilities that come with owning a dog or cat, perhaps you should consider something smaller and more low-maintenance. Investing in a goldfish or a guinea pig may be a wise choice, and they’re easy enough to care for that if your financial situation improves, you can still get a larger pet without sacrificing their care.
Are You ready For the Commitment?
One major mistake many potential dog owners make is assuming that they are fairly low-maintenance creatures. While owning a dog doesn’t require the same level of commitment as, say, having a baby, you might be surprised that there are many similarities. Just like children, dogs need far more than just food and shelter. Dogs are extremely affectionate creatures who require plenty of love, attention, and exercise. They are well-known for their fondness and attachment, and depending on the breed, their level of independence can vary greatly. If this is too big of a commitment, cats are far more independent as pets.
Will a Pet Fit into Your Future Life Plans?
It’s easy to come to the conclusion that you’re ready to own a pet when you’re financially stable and have the time to commit to their well-being. However, have you considered how that might change in the next two years? Five years? Ten years? The average lifespan for dogs and cats can range anywhere from eight to twenty years.
Ask yourself a few simple questions:
Do your goals for the next two decades still leave room for them? Maybe you’re currently living with your parents but are planning on moving to an apartment soon. Do they allow pets? Perhaps you are planning on committing to a demanding new career. Will you still have time for your pet? If you get married, does your potential spouse like dogs or cats? If you decide to have children, does your furry friend still fit into the equation?
Please, never make a hasty decision to own a pet. Make sure you are financially stable first. Taking care of an animal is a bigger commitment than you may think, so make sure you’re truly ready. Finally, always ask yourself where your potential pet fits into your life for the next eight to twenty years. If you make these three considerations beforehand, you are sure to provide yourself and your new best friend with a wonderful and fulfilling experience.
If you have a private yard, avoid dog walks. Otherwise, limit your walks to bathroom breaks and keep your dog six feet apart from others.
Wear gloves when cleaning up after your pet, and dispose of waste in a sealed bag. The CDC says there is no evidence to suggest waste from infected pets needs any additional disinfection.