Whether you’re adopting or buying, bringing home a new pet is exciting. But before you commit, there are some things you should know. Here are a number of facts to help you decide if you’re ready for a pet:
1. They’re Expensive
Pets can cost hundreds of dollars per year in food, vet bills, and other expenses. For example, ASPCA said that the average dog owner spends $1,270 during the first year on their pet, while the average cat owner spends $1,070. So, where does this money go?
According to a national survey conducted by a financial website called LendEDU, they found out that 45% of Americans spend a similar amount or more on their pet’s health insurance as on their own. It means that you don’t only provide food or vitamins to your pets, but you also have to pay for other health-related expenses, like vet dentistry, surgery, etc.
2. They’re Time-Consuming
Pets require time for feeding, walking, exercising, grooming, and vet visits. Dogs generally need around 30 minutes to an hour of exercise per day, while cats need 15-20 minutes of playtime. In addition to these daily activities, you also need to set aside time for regular grooming, like brushing your dog’s fur or trimming your cat’s nails.
3. They’re Messy
Pets can be messy, whether shedding fur all over your furniture or throwing up on your carpet. And even if you potty train them, accidents can happen. Be prepared to deal with the mess and have a plan to clean it up quickly. In other words, you need a lot of patience when dealing with their mess.
4. They Need Your Attention
Pets need love and attention, and they thrive on human interaction. Dogs especially crave companionship and can become anxious or depressed if left alone for too long. If you travel a lot or work long hours, a pet may not be the right fit for you.
Moreover, if ever there’s an urgent situation and you have to leave your pet home alone, you have to make sure that someone can take care of them in your absence. For example, if they need to go to an emergency vet, you need to have a designated pet-sitter or neighbor who can take them.
5. They’re a Long-Term Commitment
Pets can live 10-20 years or longer, so you’re making a long-term commitment when you adopt or buy one. Think carefully about whether you’re ready to make that kind of commitment before bringing a pet home.
For instance, some pets’ vaccinations are necessary every year throughout their lifetime. Also, as they age, they may require more medical care, which can be expensive. Visit this page for professional cat and dog vaccinations in Valley Cottage, NY, and learn more about pet vaccine schedules.
6. They’re Not for Everyone
Pets are not right for everyone. If you’re not sure you’re ready for the responsibility, consider foster pet ownership first. Also, you can try volunteering at your local animal shelter to get some experience caring for animals.
In addition, there are factors that you need to take into account when deciding whether or not you should get a pet, including:
- Allergies. If you’re allergic to pets, it’s probably not a good idea to get one.
- Lifestyle. If you work long hours, a pet may not be the right fit for you.
- Housing. There may be restrictions or regulations on the number or type of pets you can have if you are staying in an apartment or condo.
- Finances. Pets can be expensive, so make sure you’re prepared to handle the cost before making the commitment.
Pets can be a joy to have around, but they’re also a big responsibility. Be sure you’re prepared for the commitment before adding a furry friend to your family.