1. How big is your home? Do you live in a roaming ranch home with acres of land? Or do you live in a loft apartment in the city? Consider how much room your new pet will need and if you will be able to provide it.
2. How much time can you spend with your pet? Will someone be home all day every day to watch over your new pet? Or, will you only be home at night (if you decide not to go out dancing)? Dogs are pack animals and need companionship. Puppies in particular need a lot of attention. It is not healthy to lock them up in a crate or leave them alone in the backyard all day.
3. How old are your children? Older children can be enlisted to help take care of pets. It’s a good way for them to learn responsibility while caring for their friend. Consider safety issues with younger children — for both them and your new pet. You don’t want either to get hurt.
4. How much do you want to spend? You may have already thought about the cost to purchase your pet, but have you considered the cost to own him? Take into account food, veterinarian bills, cage, bedding and toys. Low maintenance pets like fish and frogs are easy on the pocketbook, while others are an on-going investment. Thankfully, pet insurance can help alleviate some of the costs associated with owning a pet. Take a look at Bivvy to find out how.
5. Does anyone have allergies? Make sure that you choose a pet the whole family can enjoy. Allergies are triggered not by the hair of the pet, but by the dander. Dogs, cats and birds can all cause allergies. Hamsters and rodents are less likely, but can be a problem with sensitive people.
If your kids really want a puppy, there are some breeds, such as terriers, who produce less dander and may work out for your family.
6. Are you worried about the mess and the smell? All animals will start to stink if you don’t keep their living quarters clean. However, some animals are easier to take care of and naturally clean.
There are many benefits to having a family pet. Animal Planet says that they can give you a boost physically, mentally and emotionally. Just make sure you find the best one for your family.