As we all know, getting a pet is a big decision and jot one that comes without responsibilities. Looking after an animal is a commitment, and it’s important to make sure you’re keeping them as healthy and happy as you possibly can.
What are some things to keep in mind to get the most out of your pet?
- Make sure you’re ready
Have you got enough money to afford their food, litter (for cats), and toys, and importantly have you got enough money set aside that you could go to the vet with them if you need to or if they are sick? Additionally, will you be around enough (or will someone else in your home or family) to look after them and keep them company? If the answer to these questions is no, then you aren’t ready to get a pet yet – it wouldn’t be fair on you or on the animal.
- Have you done your research?
One thing that is surprisingly often neglected as people decide to get a pet is that they don’t look into the type of pet they want very thoroughly, and fail to consider whether they will be a personality or lifestyle match. For instance, an animal like a persian cat or a border collie need a lot of time investment and care, whereas great danes are happy to relax all day and short haired cats don’t need much attention care-wise at all. You need to make sure that you know exactly what you’re getting into with the animal you’re adopting or buying.
Another consideration you might have when getting a pet is ‘how many of these care suggestions are actually necessary?’ Over the past decade or so, getting a pet has become a lot more involved – now, every animal is expected to have vaccines, special food, a lot of equipment, and much more – some cat owners even recommend washing short haired cats. In answer to that, some are necessary, and some are just a good idea – for example, vaccinations are necessary, whereas getting the ideal food for your animal’s age range is just a good idea (that said, some dogs have very specific dietary needs – look into that!). Washing a short haired cat is not necessary.
One thing that people always baulk at when getting a pet is installing a pet door, as they wonder if that’s really necessary – the answer is that it depends. If you have an animal with special needs like an FIV cat for instance then you don’t want a pet door, or if you work from home and are confident you can let the animal out whenever necessary, then it isn’t. Sometimes it’s an issue of safety – if you live on a busy road it’s safer not to have a pet door as you want your pet to only be outside when you can be with them to keep them safe. But in all other situations, installing a pet door is absolutely necessary. It allows the animal their freedom and space which they need to be happy – and apart from that, it saves you the hassle of having to let them in and out all the time!
So when you’re buying a pet – make sure you know what you’re getting into and, unless any of those exceptional circumstances apply, install a pet door too.