Pets can positively impact families in many ways and each family should ask themselves a few questions before choosing a new pet to help stay responsible.
November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month. Older pets are among the first to be euthanized if they aren’t adopted in a timely manner with shelters being overcrowded. However, older dogs may wind up in a shelter for a variety of reasons and are therefore still loyal and loving companions.
Regardless of the age of a pet, it is important for future pet owners to carefully consider each of their choices to make sure that the situation is right for them as well as their new pet.
Which type of pet is the most appropriate?
When choosing a pet, it is important to consider which types of pets are the best fit for your family.
Dogs and cats are the most common household pets but small animals such as reptiles, fish, and small mammals have become increasingly more popular. These small animals make ideal pets for families that have young children or limited time to provide care.
Families that have time to provide more thorough pet care but have smaller living spaces may want to consider cats or small animals. Dogs are best accommodated by families that have larger living spaces, fenced-in backyards, and time to walk and play with them.
What can your budget afford?
Pets are much more of a financial obligation than the initial purchase; they need consistent care, food, and supplies which will require an investment on the part of the family.
Families should decide how much they can realistically invest in a pet and then compare that amount to the estimated costs of owning a pet which includes food, vet care, and toys and other supplies.
According to the Association for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the average yearly cost of owning a cat or a dog is more than $1000 per year and ~$800 for a rabbit.
Who will be the primary caretaker?
One of the biggest questions facing any family looking for a pet is who will take care of it.
This question should be sorted out before getting a adopting so that it will be taken care of properly from the beginning.
Families with older children who can assume some of the responsibility can handle pets that require more attention such as dogs or cats because everyone in the household can contribute to their care.
Families with young children that need attention or with parents that work long or unconventional hours may be more suitable for pets such as fish and reptiles that are easier to care for.