Considering a new companion is a wonderful adventure. Finding and falling in love with a pet can be easy to do but ultimately it is a decision that will change your life. Dogs, cats and other pets require a considerable amount of time, money and commitment – typically 15 years or more in many cases. Pet ownership is extremely rewarding but there are a few things to ask yourself before you bring a new pet into your home.
1) Do you have the time for a pet? The majority of pets cannot be left alone to fend for themselves. They require food, water, exercise and companionship every day. If you travel often or work long hours, determine whether you can provide your pet with the proper amount of attention.
2) Is your home suitable for a pet? Depending on the size of your home as well as your access to outdoor space, certain pets might not be appropriate for your home. If you rent or have an HOA be sure to check the policies and acquire proper approval before obtaining your pet.
3) Are you prepared to share your space? When you bring a pet into your home, it becomes their home as well. Being prepared to deal with accidents on your favorite rug, scratches on your sofa, chewed up shoes, and potential medical emergencies are things to consider.
4) Can you afford a pet? Purchasing or adopting a pet is just the first cost you will incur. The average lifespan of a pet is 15 years which means you are looking at anywhere from $6,500 to upwards of $10,000 for lifetime basic costs (this includes vaccinations, licensing, food, flea control, etc.). This price increases when you add in pet sitters, obedience training, insurance, toys, treats, beds and other items that you might purchase for your pet.
5) Is this the right pet for you? Research the pet you are interested in to ensure you can provide the care it needs. Some pets require a lot of physical and mental exercise, lack of proper attention can result in destructive behaviors. Look at your lifestyle and then do some research to decide the pet that will be best fit for you.
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