Thinking of adding an extra member to your family this Christmas?
Adopting a pet comes with commitment and a lot of responsibilities, but it will turn out to be the best decision you made. The value (and love) a pet brings to the family home is undeniable. In fact, you won’t remember what life was like without your energetic bundle of fur biting at your heels when you come home, or the purr and ever so gentle headbutt from a cat letting you know just how much they’ve missed you.
However, the decision to adopt a pet shouldn’t be taken lightly. Every year the RSPCA among other rescue homes see thousands of dogs and cats surrendered, and those numbers sadly increase after Christmas so it is important to remember that a pet is a long-term commitment, here are 5 things to think about before you buy a new fur bestie.
1. Is my home suitable for a pet?
- If you’re renting you will in most cases need approval from your landlord to have a pet, some laws have been relaxed, though unfortunately it is a case-by-case approval and some landlords can be tricky!
- Is your home big enough for your pet? Your home size and/or garden are all factors in determining what pet is right for you and your family. If you plan on having a smaller inside pet, where will they go to the toilet? Will you be home to take them outside every few hours to do their business?
2. Am I prepared to care for an animal their whole lives?
- The average lifespan of a dog is around 12 years so while puppies are no doubt adorable, you will need to provide care for them as they become adults.
- In some cases, your animal will need A LOT of exercise daily and don’t forget as they grow, they will also have a sizable appetite (so food for thought)
3. Can I actually afford a pet?
- There are lots of costs involved with having a pet, some of these include microchipping, vaccination, desexing, grooming and training. You need to take into account occurring costs for toys, food, bedding, worming and annual trips to the vet. Some breeds also require special veterinary care, so make sure you do your research. Pet insurance is a great way to cover any pet related emergencies.
4. Do I have the time to care for a pet?
- Looking after your new fur baby takes a lot of time, it’s not all walks and cuddles on the couch. Attention really is critical to a pet’s happiness – some pets will require more of your time than others but all will need some time set aside each day to exercise, feed, socialise and groom them. Puppies and kittens to start with definitely need a lot of your time and love so make sure you take that into account when choosing a pet that is right for you and your family.
5. Will a pet work in with your lifestyle?
- If you work long hours or travel a lot for work who will look after your pet in your absence?
- Pets thrive on human company, and they depend on you for pretty much everything. If you’re at the stage of life where being home a lot doesn’t suit you then it might be time to rethink if this Christmas is the right time to take the leap to pet parent.
This blog isn’t aimed to deter you from getting a pet, in fact, it’s the opposite, we just want you to ask yourself the right questions before you take the leap into becoming a fur mum or dad– because as with most things in life, preparation is key!
Being a pet owner is the most incredible feeling in the world, sure, they will test your patience and sometimes eat the food off your plate, but the unconditional love from your pet will be one of the single best things in your life.
Companionship and the love from your fur bestie will ensure you and your pet have an incredible bond and a lifetime of memories together.
Enjoy every minute.