Welcoming a dog or a cat into your home can bring great rewards. A dog or a cat can provide companionship for people of all ages. Always make sure you are fully aware of the cost and commitment required to properly and lovingly care for your pet. Pet ownership has many rewards, but should not be delved into without any thought as to how you can create an inviting and safe home for your pet. Remember that you are making a commitment to care for this animal for the rest of his life. Here are some things to consider.
Do you have adequate space for your pet? If you are getting a cat, this is less of a problem. Cats do well in apartments, condos, small homes or large homes. If you are getting a dog, you might want to consider what breeds of dog match up well with the kind of space you have in your home. Small dogs, just like cats, are adaptable to most home sizes. Larger dogs can adapt to small homes and small spaces if they have plenty of exercise. Depending on the breed and the age of the dog, some homes are better for some dogs than others. If your dog is aging, a home with lots of stairs to maneuver in order to go outside and back in may not be a good fit. You can carry an aging smaller dog, but a larger breed dog is not the kind of dog you can easily carry. It is just something to think about as you plan for the life of your pet. If you are committing to a pet’s entire life, you should think about these things.
What is your lifestyle? Your lifestyle is going to greatly impact your pet. Most breeds of dogs need a certain amount of exercise. Some breeds are a naturally harder working kind of dog and therefore, have higher energy levels. These dogs need a high energy owner who can provide that kind of exercise to the dog. Do you work a lot? Are you gone on a daily basis for long periods of time? If your pet needs let out, does he have a way to get outdoors and back inside in inclement weather? Can you afford to hire a dog walking service if not? A cat might be better for you if your lifestyle is one full of long work days and long commutes.
Do you have the time to take your dog for walks? Do you have the time to groom your dog and cat if the breed requires a lot of grooming? Are you prepared for a home that is going to have pet hair on the furniture and flooring, even if you don’t allow your dog on the furniture? What will you do if you have a cat that scratches? You might need to provide your cat with a cat condo to stimulate his senses and provide an outlet for his scratching proclivities.
There are regular vet checkups to take your pets to, which is an additional expense. You have to consider how much food your pet may eat and the cost. Some breeds of dog have trouble bending low enough to eat and drink from the ground and they may need elevated bowls. Or they may be drippy drinkers and a place mat under the drinking bowl area might solve the problem. Factor in all the many different kinds of pet supplies you may need. Your pet should have beds in most rooms if you don’t want them on the furniture. Your pet may need a pet carrier to transport her to the vet. Get the proper storage containers to keep the dry pet food fresh. Cats need litter pans. All pets, to one degree or another, need toys and grooming supplies.
Pets are wonderful additions that bring significant meaning and value to our lives, but do think it all through before making the commitment to another life.