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Fins, Fur or Feathers? Choosing the Right Pet is a Tough Decision!

Posted on October 26 2018

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Fins, Fur or Feathers? Choosing the Right Pet is a Tough Decision!

Having options is a good thing, but when it comes to selecting the right pet it can border on being overwhelming.  There are critters of all shapes, sizes and types available these days.  How do you decide? Here are some pointers for finding the right animal to share your home and your life.

Lifestyle fit.  Your first step in selecting a pet is to make an evaluation of your lifestyle.  By selecting an animal that fits well with how you live, your new friend will become a part of things seamlessly.  Consider these aspects and choose a pet that fits well with your way of life:

Household.  Think carefully about everyone living in your home and evaluate your normal lifestyle to help decide on the right pet for your household.  Is everyone in favor of a pet, or will the responsibilities for care fall primarily to one person? Does anyone in your home have allergies?  Would a fragile or otherwise challenging pet be inappropriate for younger members of your family? How much room can you offer a pet? Is there a spacious yard, sidewalks for exercise, or discreet places for litter boxes?  Are you home enough for a companion who needs substantial interaction, or would a more independent pet such as a gerbil or guinea pig suit your home more?

Additionally, you should consider how you’ll clean up after your new pet. That includes preparing your home ahead of time to make it safe and pet-friendly for your new companion. It also includes investing in the right products to clean up any messes or eliminate any odors. Water extraction or spot cleaning can work for carpet stains, while odor removers with special enzymes to remove pet odors are recommended for getting urine smells and other odors out of any room.

Time and money.  Many animals require a somewhat minimal time commitment and some are quite involved.  There are exotic pets that require specialized living conditions and have especially long lifespans, even beyond a half century!  And an exotic pet will often mean a specialized veterinarian, which can be more costly. You might even be surprised at the requirements of certain traditional species and the variance in needs.  

For instance, The Spruce Pets explains some kinds of birds need attention for two hours per day, every day, and others are more independent.  Dogs can also vary greatly, with some working breeds requiring a fairly extensive exercise regimen and/or mentally challenging games.  Some dog breeds, such as some of the smaller toy breeds, need minimal exercise, but ample time with their people, cuddling and lounging to stay emotionally healthy.  Larger dogs typically require more basic expense to keep up than smaller dogs, as they eat more and can cost more for medical care and heartworm preventative. Decide how much you are willing to commit out of your time and your budget before choosing a pet.  

On the run.  Whether for work or pleasure, if you frequently travel that can also weigh into your decision.  As SkinnyMs. explains, you may need a pet sitter for a dog, while a cat may be able to go a day or so with food and water left out, and some smaller pets such as rodents and reptiles can be left with minimal supervision.  More hotels accommodate pets than ever before, so you might decide you want a travelling companion.

Prepare in advance.  Once you decide what animal will fit best with your lifestyle, you should make preparations before bringing your new friend home.  Buy the food, bedding, and other supplies necessary for helping your pet become acclimated. For instance, you should establish the cage or aquarium for your bird, fish, amphibian, reptile, or rodent.  Doing so after your animal is home isn’t convenient to you or fair to your new friend.  Remember that a rescue animal may be fearful, nervous, or reserved upon arrival.

Canine Journal suggests simply spending time with your new pet.  Get to know each other, be patient and allow space and time for adjustment and bonding.  Provide quiet, comfy areas for your animal. Keep in mind that dogs feel most vulnerable while sleeping, so take extra care to help your dog feel safe in his or her own dog bed. Having a designated place for your furry companion to retreat when needed is essential.

Right at home.  Choosing the right pet for your household is a big decision.  You want an animal that will share your life and become part of your family.  Evaluate your lifestyle and choose carefully, and your new friend will be right at home in no time.


By: Jessica Brody