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Is a Pet Right for You? What to Consider Before You Get a Pet

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Any pet owner can tell you that pets are a lot of responsibility. They are living, breathing creatures like humans, and some pets are more independent than others. This means that some pets (like cats) are pretty independent and don’t require much, while other pets (like dogs) will require much more of your attention. Which type of pet is right for you?

If you’ve never owned a pet before, you shouldn’t jump right into the pet world. Animals don’t necessarily operate in the same way that humans do, and it’s important to understand that for their well-being. Here are some things to consider when you want to get the right pet.

Are You Allergic to Pet Dander?

Pet allergies are a very common allergy, and it’s possible that you may have one. If you have asthma, you’re more likely to have a pet allergy, and if you have other allergies, you may be more susceptible to pet allergies. 

Obviously, the best way to avoid irritating your allergies is to avoid the animal(s) you’re allergic to. However, if you really want a pet, there are OTC (over-the-counter) medications you can take to help ease your symptoms. Also, make sure to clean your home often when you get your pet, and it may even help to get a pet that doesn’t shed too much.

Do You Understand What it Takes to Care for a Pet?

As mentioned earlier, pets are living and breathing creatures like humans, but these animals don’t operate in the same way that we do. For example, certain types of food are toxic to animals (e.g., dogs can’t eat chocolate or grapes). Certain plants (such as lilies) are toxic to animals as well. You should be aware of these things before you get a pet. 

Pets are also a huge responsibility. They need to be fed, cleaned, and taken care of in general. Some types of pets require more than other types. Many of the most common types of pets (i.e., cats and dogs) may need to visit a veterinarian every once in a while (or more often), meaning you’re going to need pet insurance. And, nurturing pets is a much more difficult job for pet owners.

Is Your Home Pet Friendly, or Do You Need to Make Changes?

Many homes aren’t prepared for a new furry friend. Several types of cats and dogs shed a lot, and they have pretty sharp claws. If you plan to keep your pet inside the home, you’ll need to make sure that your furniture and floors are suitable for pets. The best furniture for pets should be made out of durable materials, such as denim or canvas, and vinyl and laminate flooring are the best types of floors for pet owners.

You should also make an effort to make sure that your pet can’t get into dangerous household items as well. Many animals can open cabinets and drawers within reach, so you may need child-proof locks on them. It’s also important to make sure your pet can’t get a hold of small items that they could easily choke on.

What Type of Pet Should You Get?

cat and dog
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If you have any concerns regarding the three considerations above, then by now, you probably think that you shouldn’t get a furry pet. There are plenty of other pet options, such as fish— which are fairly low-maintenance pets. You can even opt for an exotic pet, such as an iguana. Keep in mind that some animals are illegal to own (such as penguins), but these restrictions vary by country.

Of course, when choosing a pet, you should choose an animal that you would enjoy having. However, you should also be able to give the right amount of care, time, and attention to your chosen pet. For instance, you may want a pet dog, but if you work 12 hours a day and have no one to watch your dog while you’re away, you may need to reconsider getting a dog.

Where Should You Get Your Pet?

If you’ve decided that getting a pet is right for you, then the next thing you’ll need to do is decide where you’re going to get your pet. This largely depends on what type of pet you want too. Using the dog as an example again, you can buy a dog from a professional breeder, adopt one from an animal shelter, or even get a puppy from a friend or family member’s dog that has just given birth to a litter. There are several options when it comes to dogs.

However, exotic pets (that you can legally own) aren’t always as easy to get as dogs and cats. Some pet stores may allow you to buy certain exotic animals, while other types you may have to buy online. Again, make sure that whatever exotic pet you want to buy is legal to own in your country to avoid facing fines and other penalties.

If you’ve decided to get a pet, congratulations! Pets truly become a part of your family, and they also positively impact the mental health of those who love them.

Featured Image by Zigmars Berzins from Pixabay