Adopting and bringing a new pet into your life can be a wonderful experience. It is important to remember that the animal you choose becomes part of your family, and will be for many years, even decades. If you are thinking about adding a pet into your life, learning about each type and their needs is essential before choosing. You and your pet will be happier if you find the one that best suits your lifestyle and daily routine.
Questions to Ask Yourself Before Selecting a Pet
Every breed and type of animal has different behavioral traits and needs for feeding, housing, and time commitment. Researching and understanding what it takes to have a happy and healthy pet is essential. You will have an easier time handling any challenges regarding pet care, nutrition, comfort, and health if you are prepared.
Below are some essential questions you should ask yourself before considering a pet:
- Will you be able to live with a litter box, pet hair, or certain wear-and-tear caused by the animal?
- If you have children, how will adding a new pet into the home affect them?
- If you rent, will your landlord allow you to have a pet?
- Is your home an ideal space to add an animal? Is your yard fenced? Is there enough room for a litter box, dog bed, or crate?
- Do you have time to spend with your pet every day?
- Is the type of pet you want good for your activity level?
- Does your city require you to have a permit or license?
- Do you have friends or family members you trust to care for your pet if you travel?
- Can your budget handle regular checkups with a vet or a medical emergency?
Most individuals would jump at the chance to add a furry friend to the family. However, there is much more involved than going to your local animal shelter. As a pet owner, you are responsible for their health, comfort, and happiness.
Cats & Kittens
When they feel comfortable and cared for, cats are very social and love attention. Although most felines do not need as much attention as dogs, they still require petting, playtime, and cuddling daily. Spending time with your kitty can mean the difference between a bored animal who tears up your furniture or happy feline companion.
While cats are mostly independent, they still require quality food, toys, litter and litter box, vet care, and spaying or neutering. You must have enough money to ensure they remain healthy and happy.
Cat & Kitten Considerations
Here are some other things to know before getting a cat:
- Kitties are fussy about litter box cleanliness and habits. It is essential for their comfort and happiness that you keep this area clean and fresh.
- Cats can live for fifteen years, sometimes up to two decades! Be prepared to make a long-term pet owner commitment if you get a kitten.
- Cats need to scratch for many reasons. These include removing the dead outer layer of their claws, marking their territory, and simply stretching their bodies and paws. You can learn to trim your feline's nails to prevent furniture or clothing damage. Declawing is not recommended as it is very painful for your cat and illegal in some parts of the country.
- Kittens are vulnerable and have very sharp claws, often making them unsuitable if you have young children. Adopting an adult cat may be better if this is your situation.
- Cats have unique personalities. One cat may love snuggling, while another is more independent and will not like to be picked up. It is essential to respect your kitty and be conscious of their preferences.
Puppies & Dogs
Dogs are incredibly social animals. They require a lot of attention and love. As you can imagine, they will not be happy being left outside or alone all day. If you are thinking about getting a dog, be willing to spend several hours a day with them at least.
Be sure to consider what type of dog is right for you. Adding a new puppy into your life is a huge commitment, especially because you cannot leave him or her alone all day. There is a reason why people say that getting a puppy is the closest thing to having a baby without having a baby. They require you to change your lifestyle in significant ways.
Puppies typically need to relieve themselves about every two hours, and house-training them is vital to maintaining a clean, fresh, and comfortable environment. They also need to be taught the necessary behavioral skills, cues, and commands. If not properly handled and socialized when young, puppies can become shy, fearful, or even aggressive as they get older.
Dog & Puppy Considerations
Below are some essential factors to know and consider before adopting a dog or puppy:
- The breed: Different breeds have various characteristics and nutrition, grooming, and health needs.
- Exercise: Your four-legged friend may need a lot of outdoor time and activity. All dogs, no matter the size or bread, should have at least one walk a day.
- Your time: Your dog needs enough interaction with you to remain happy and healthy. If you're a busy person with a demanding schedule, a dog may not be the best pet for you. You could still consider a dog if your work allows you to bring your dog along. You will also need enough time to train your furry friend properly.
- Money: Dogs are not cheap, no matter their size or breed. Associated costs commonly include food, leashes, crates, house pads, training classes, toys, regular vet care, and emergency care.
Whichever animal you choose, remember that it is a serious responsibility and a long-term commitment. Your pet will need love, attention, and respect. They will also need a clean and comfortable environment. Merely feeding and giving them water is not enough. Your pet should be seen and treated as member of your family.
At Antony Animal Hospital, we are committed to your new pet's health, happiness, and safety. Our Veterinarian Dr. Amal "Amy" Zakhary provides comprehensive services. Whether it's time for a check-up, your pet requires surgery, or you need advice on choosing your new dog or cat, our team is here for you! Contact our veterinary practice in Hesperia today!