Seeing a gorgeous baby cat or dog at a pet store, or for sale at a farm, makes many a heart flutter, and can lead you to consider getting one for yourself. Welcoming a pet into the family is not a decision that should be taken lightly though, as there are too many pets abandoned by owners once the initial thrill has worn off. If you’ve never had a pet before, you may not be aware of what is involved, so it is worth your while to take some consideration before you jump into it. Too many animals end up in animal shelters awaiting a new owner, and some may be put down if one does not come along in time. Like having a baby, owning a pet is a lifelong commitment, so it is really important to make an informed decision before you take responsibility for a pet.

Have You Had a Pet Before?

If you have never owned a pet before, you will want to read up on what is required in pet-ownership before you take the plunge. Pets require as much care as a baby during the early days. You will need to start training them almost immediately, and you will have to teach them where to go to the toilet, which parts of the house they can go into, and discourage them from destroying things in your home. It isn’t going to be easy, but the short term effort that you put in will be rewarding in the long term as you enjoy your friend for life.

Can You Afford it?

The cost of owning a pet is definitely worth considering before you make the decision. Initially, for cats and dogs it will involve vaccinations, micro-chipping and desexing, which can vary depending on the vet. You will then need to be able to pay for ongoing costs including food, worming, annual health checks, vet bills, training and any other incidentals such as bedding and toys. Larger dogs can have rather large appetites that you will need to keep up with as they grow.

Does a Pet Fit Into Your Lifestyle?

When you buy a tiny dog or cat you need to think a bit further down the track to when the animal has grown, and ensure that you are getting a breed that is the right size to be accommodated comfortably in your home. If you do not have a yard space then you would be sentencing a dog to a life indoors, and not every breed enjoys that sort of life, so you may want to choose a particular breed. If you are renting, you will need to get permission from your landlord to keep a pet. All dogs should to be exercised every day, so you will need to make a commitment to walking your dog regularly to ensure that it is kept fit and healthy.

Pet Holidays

Going on holiday is another thing that you will have to consider before you commit to having a pet. You will need to include your pet in your plans by making arrangements for it to go to a dog-sitter, or a boarding kennel, while you head off to your holiday. For dog lovers who don’t want their dog to miss out on the fun, (but can’t take them on holiday), sending them to a ‘pet resort’ is a great option, as the dog gets to have its own holiday in the company of other dogs, in a safe environment.