Deciding if you’re ready for a pet and understanding your family’s lifestyle are important to consider before buying. Take a moment, and ask these questions first.
Pets add a lot of love into family dynamics. They snuggle and run, bringing happiness to households and great stories to childhood memories. But, before you go out to get that cute little puppy, consider your lifestyle and decide which pet will be the best fit for your family.
Where do we live?
According to Linda Ingalls and Bailey Stensby, owners of Healthy Paws, knowing the breed will help you decide which animal to get. If you come home to an apartment each night, a calm little guy like a Shih Tzu greeting you after a long day is going to be perfect. Or, if you have room to spare and kiddos running around, a pet with a lot of energy will fit your family.
“The best thing to remember is that puppies grow up,” said Linda. “So make sure you know what the puppy is going to be like when it’s an adult.”
What’s our pace?
When movie nights are more your style, cuddly animals that like to be held like cats and pocket pets are a good choice, according to Tami Bremer, RVT–Practice Manager at Canyon Lake Veterinary Hospital. “If your family is outdoorsy, puppies or dogs that need lots of exercise and interaction will be excellent!”
Who will care for the pet?
Schedules will be shifted when you bring a pet into your family–it’s inevitable. But, it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. “There are all kinds of things that the kids can do to help out with pets,” explains Linda. “Rotating the responsibilities is an easy way to show your child multiple duties.”
How will it work?
The biggest factor to consider is how much time you’re going to be able to dedicate to caring for that new addition. If your little ones are content with just watching an animal, aquatic animals or crabs are excellent alternatives that will mean less work for you. Every pet is different–and so is every family. Sometimes families deal with allergies and hypoallergenic pets are a better fit. Sometimes money is tight, so animals like a gerbil or hamster are good options.
With a little bit of homework, you will find the perfect companion to add to your family.