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Things To Consider Before Getting A Pet
●July 7, 2021●4 minute read
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Pet ownership can be extremely rewarding, but it’s also a huge commitment. Sometimes, the timing might not be right. Whether you move around a lot, work long hours, or are not sure that you can financially commit, there are a lot of factors to consider before taking home a furry friend.
In this article, we discuss the things you should consider before getting a pet, why this is so important, and more.
What questions should I ask myself?
Taking on a pet is a huge responsibility. You’re in control of the health and wellbeing of another living creature — that’s really important! There are some key things you’ll need to consider before taking home a furry friend. From being able to afford the cost of a pet to knowing how to look after it, there’s a lot you’ll need to weigh up before deciding if pet ownership is for you.
Can I commit?
Dogs and cats can live from 10 to 15 years, or in some cases, even longer. It’s important to ensure that no matter the current stage of your life, you’ll be able to continue to look after your pet in 15 years time. For example, if you have plans to live overseas at some stage in the next decade, getting a pet right now might not be suitable.
You have to think long term, because your pet could live for 15 years or more. Can you commit 15 years of your life to looking after an animal?
Can I afford it?
Pets can be expensive. From trips to the vet to pet insurance, there are a variety of expenses that you’ll need to consider. Can you afford food, toys, vet trips, pet insurance, and any other costs that might arise to take care of your pet? If you’re buying a puppy, you could expect to pay anywhere from $1,545 to $9,505 for everything from food to accessories. Is this cost going to be manageable for you?
Do I know how to care for a pet?
It’s your responsibility, as the pet owner, to know how to look after your pet. If it’s an exotic animal, do you have the specific enclosure you need for the pet to live a comfortable and healthy life? Do you know the specific food, toys, and space that your pet needs? It’s important to do your research and purchase all of the things that your pet needs, as they won’t be able to source these items themselves.
Particular breeds of animals are at a higher risk of health problems. Specifically, animals with exaggerated features, like brachycephalic or flat faced dogs and cats, are at risk for issues such as difficulty breathing and eye problems. These issues might require specialised veterinary care, as well as ongoing day-to-day care.
Do I have the time?
Caring for a pet means you’ll need time to spend with your new fur baby. From exercise, socialisation, training, play time to just general company, you’ll need to have enough spare time to spend with your pet. While some pets will need more attention than others, you’ll still need some time available to look after them. Particularly, puppies and kittens will demand more time and attention from you.
Is my living situation suitable?
It’s important to consider your current living situation and whether this is suitable for an animal. For example, if you’re living in a one bedroom apartment without a backyard, it might not be suitable to get a large dog that needs space to run around. In addition, if you’re renting with a pet, you might need to run this past your landlord before taking on a new furry addition.
Will a pet fit into my lifestyle?
If you work long hours, you’re a social butterfly, or you regularly travel, you should consider whether a pet is going to fit into your lifestyle. In particular, companion animals thrive on human companionship and they’ll always depend on you. So, you need to be around to supply this vital contact with your pet.
You’ll also need to ensure you’re able to commit to other specific requirements. For example, will you have time to walk your dog every day? If the answer is no, you might not be suited to a big dog that needs to be walked regularly. Do you know someone that can watch your pet if you go away? This is also an important consideration if there are times that you’re not home to look after your furry friend.
Tips for being a responsible pet owner
Being a responsible pet owner is vital for the health and wellbeing of your new animal. If a pet isn’t properly taken care of, this can lead to malnutrition, depression, or other health issues down the line. Obviously, this isn’t something that you’ll want.
If you’ve decided that you’re ready to take on a pet, here are some easy tips to be a successful pet owner:
- Make them a part of the family (let them inside the house, introduce them to everyone in your household including any other animals);
- Pet proof your house — keep any dangerous foods or items out of reach;
- Take care of your pet — take it to the vet regularly and where necessary (in emergencies);
- Keep an ID tag on your pet in the case it ever runs away or is lost;
- Desex, vaccinate, and microchip your pet;
- Train your pet to understand obedience;
- Ensure that your pet gets enough exercise;
- Feed them properly and ensure they maintain a healthy weight;
- Socialise them;
- Give them enough love and attention.
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Written by Rachel Horan
Rachel Horan is a Content Writer for Jacaranda Finance. Rachel has previously produced content for Brisbane City Council, Black & White Cabs, and Clubs Queensland. She has a Bachelor of Mass Communication with Distinction from the Queensland University of Technology.