I’d like to thank Cassidy Walker at Media Consulting for reaching out and offering this post from Harriet Moore. It’s on one of my favorite subjects – pets, and how to pick the right one for you.
Pets can make wonderful additions to family life by bringing us companionship, unconditional love, and an excuse for the family to spend more quality time together. In fact, 94% of pet owners feel that having a pet makes them happy, and 84% credit their pet with improving their mental health. If you’re thinking about getting a furry, scaly or fluffy friend but you’re not sure which animal is right for your family, follow these three important tips to help you choose.
Tip #1 - Consider how active you are or would like to be.
Every pet needs some form of regular exercise, but some are more reliant on their owners for exercise than others. Dogs are the most demanding in this respect, requiring at least two walks each day, although the amount of ground you cover on each walk will depend on the size and energy level of the breed.
If you want to be more active, getting a dog is a great option. If you already get plenty of exercise and don’t have the time or inclination for much more, a small pet like a hamster or rabbit could be a better choice. Keep in mind that you’ll still need to provide your pet with toys or equipment for exercising, such as a wheel or climbing tower. You may also need to supervise their exercise or play with them to encourage them to get active.
Tip #2 - Assess your Home Environment and Available Space
Some pets need more space than others, and it’s not just their size that dictates how much space they need. For example, rabbits require an enclosure that is at least eight square feet and tall enough for them to be able to stand on their hind legs. They also need an additional 24 square feet of secure space in which they can exercise.
Some pets, such as dogs, need frequent access to outdoor space and are best suited to properties with yards or gardens. Others, such as cats, are content living indoors but require additional equipment such as climbing trees and scratching posts to keep them entertained and active.
Tip #3 - Determine your budget for upfront costs and monthly expenses
It’s vital that you consider the affordability of a pet in both the short and long term. Upfront costs include the pet’s price or adoption fee, essentials such as enclosures, bedding and toys, and vet fees for things like vaccinations and neutering. Ongoing monthly expenses include food, toileting supplies, flea and worm treatments, pet insurance, and grooming fees.
You should also think about irregular additional expenses, such as boarding or pet-sitting fees when you go on vacation. Dogs tend to be the most expensive pet, costing between $700 and $2,000 per year, while fish are one of the least expensive, costing between $50 and $200. Keep in mind the expected lifespan of a pet and ask yourself whether you can realistically commit to the ongoing expense for the entirety of the animal’s life.
Final Thoughts - Take your time to choose the perfect pet
Welcoming a new pet into your family is a huge commitment, so don’t rush into it too quickly. Take time to research different pets thoroughly to understand what they need for a happy, healthy life. Next, consider your time and activity level, your environment and space, and your budget to determine whether you can give an animal everything it needs. When you choose a pet carefully like this, you can be sure they’ll fit into your family life perfectly.
Meet My Guest Blogger, Harriet Moore
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!