Pets are not a seasonal gift, but a long-term commitment to taking care of an animal. When the novelty of a new pet dies, many irresponsible owners decide they can’t handle the burden and costs of a pet.
Instead of finding someone else willing to adopt their pet, some resort to simply abandoning their pet in the open – or worse. Those that are lucky are found and adopted by kind people who take them in, while others join the other 6.5 million animals that cram animal shelters in the United States. Others, however, are not as fortunate.
Before bringing a pet into your home, it’s important to double-check if your household is ready for the added costs and responsibilities of owning a pet. Here are 5 reasons that show you’re ready to own a pet and 5 reasons you’re not.
Your Household Is Ready If…
You Have Enough Space
You don’t need to have a vast acre of land to be able to own a dog or cat, but at least have enough space for them. Pet fishes need a big enough aquarium to swim freely, while pets like rabbits and gerbils that are often in cages need enough space and facilities to keep them stimulated. A small dog or cat can live in a small apartment, but for bigger dogs, you either have to have a lot of indoor and outdoor room, or you are willing (and have the means) to walk them frequently.
You’re Willing to Do Research
The fact that you’re researching pets, the different kinds of breeds, its needs, personality, and other important facts to know when raising it shows that you’re ready to step up and be responsible for a pet. It shows that you know what to expect and don’t want to go in this blindly.
You’re Willing to Put Time and Energy
Once you’ve done your research, you should know what’s in store for your pet. This will mean a lot of time and energy adjusting to your new lifestyle. Taking care of a pet means looking after its needs daily, without fail, knowing that it can take a toll on its health if you don’t.
You Can Afford to Keep a Pet
If your household has a lot of disposable income, you can keep a pet because you can afford to pay for its needs. Do not try to cut costs with your pet like buying sub-par quality food that can make them sick or cause long-term health problems.
Everyone Is OK with a Pet
There should be a unanimous decision among all the members of the family. If one person doesn’t want a pet, it’s either they shouldn’t be expected to chip in to help in raising the pet, or the household doesn’t get a pet. Ideally, if everyone is ready to help, then is the time to consider getting one.
Your Household Is Not Ready If…
No One Wants to Shoulder Responsibilities
Don’t be fooled by articles that tell you getting certain pets are low-maintenance. And even if some pets are more high-maintenance than others, it still means a bit of care on your household’s part. Pets need to be fed, played with, and groomed. Pets in cages and aquariums will need their homes cleaned often. Dogs need to be walked, while cat litter boxes need to be cleaned. If no one in your home is willing to shoulder these responsibilities, you should not own a pet.
You Don’t Want to Spend on Your Pet
Proper pet care costs money. This includes annual vet check-ups, food, cages, grooming, supplies, and more. Cutting out on the essentials could be harming your pet’s health.
You Don’t Want Pets to Affect Your Lifestyle
If you like to travel or your job requires you to take multiple business trips, you have to make a choice for your pet. Do you send them to a pet boarding place? Do you hire a pet sitter to watch them? Or do you bring them along, which means having to find pet-friendly travel and accommodations? If you don’t want to be bothered with these concerns and your household is unwilling to shoulder the burden of your pet, don’t get one.
Someone Has Allergies
Everyone in your household may be excited to get a pet… except for that one person with allergies. Unfortunately, humans will always take precedence over pets, so if a family purchases a pet and finds that one of their members is allergic, almost always that pet is returned or sent to a shelter. Around 30 percent of Americans have pet allergies, so to be safe, try visiting a pet shop or shelter. If it’s clear one of your family members has an allergy to pets, it’s best not to bring one into your home.
Not Everyone Is Onboard
You know how when some kids beg their parents for a pet and the parent finally relents but only under the condition that the kids are solely responsible for the pet? In some cases, kids can be very responsible and shoulder all the burden of a pet. But in other cases, they get tired and begin to neglect their pet. And if the parents refuse to take care of the pet and the kids can’t be bothered to care for it, the only one that’s getting hurt is the pet itself.