Are your kids at an age where they are starting to ask for a pet? Perhaps they’re fixated on puppies or demanding a kitten on the daily. It’s tempting to cave into these demands (puppies are very cute, after all), but pet ownership is a big responsibility and not one to be taken lightly. If you’re on the verge of bringing a pet home, read this advice first.
Work out an estimate of pet insurance, bills, and food costs, and then add a little extra on top. You need to be absolutely certain that you can afford to keep a pet. If you went on holiday for two weeks, could you afford the kennel’s bill? Sometimes, people don’t factor in all the costs of keeping an animal, but this isn’t fair to the pet or your kids. In the worst-case scenario, you might have to give the animal away again, which can be incredibly upsetting for everyone.
What kind of animal would work in your current living space? Cats and dogs need access to the outdoors, somewhere to sleep inside, and somewhere to eat. You will also need space to store any extras like animal carriers or harnesses. Other animals, like hamsters and birds, need a large cage with plenty of accessories to keep them entertained. If you’re considering letting animals such as rabbits out on the loose, be warned that they can bite through electrical wires, destroy furniture, and escape from the house very easily.
Almost all pets require at least some time input. Caged animals, or fish in a tank, need their living space to be thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis and also need feeding and watering. Cats need love and attention, whilst dogs are the most time-intensive pet as they require a decent length walk daily. If this is something you and your family are willing to commit to, a pet may be a great decision, but you need to know that you can commit this time before you sign up.