You’ve heard it from your parents once, and we’ll say it again. Pets are a huge responsibility.
Pets can be a great addition to your household and your mental health. But before you bring home your new furry friend, you must ask yourself if you’re ready to become a pet parent. You may think you’re ready to buy a pet, but there’s more to owning a pet than training and feeding them.
The last thing you want is to realize you aren’t ready when you already have your pet in your home. Don’t let your excitement cloud your judgment when deciding to buy a pet. Here are ten essential things to ask yourself before buying a pet.
1. Are You Ready for the Financial Burden?
Look at your current household budget and decide if you can accommodate your pet’s needs. Pet food alone can get expensive, especially if you’re getting a big breed. Quality pet food can get a little pricier and is non-negotiable if you want your pet to be healthy.
There are also toys, vet visits, vaccinations, and other supplies. Some pets have special grooming needs, which can add a lot to your expenses.
2. Is Your Home Big Enough for Your Pet?
Pets are not static objects you can place in your home. They need enough room to move around and play. Being stuck in a small space can trigger some destructive habits.
It can be endearing to watch your new kitten or puppy get the zoomies, but what if they break something? Cats like to scratch at couches, and dogs may gnaw at wooden furniture. Even a Shih Tzu needs a big space to run around.
If you live in a small apartment, are you prepared to give your pet the exercise they need?
3. Can You Train a Pet?
Training a pet takes a lot of time, dedication, and patience. Puppies have a lot of energy and may require some exercise before you can get them to focus on training. Potty training is one of the biggest struggles for pet owners.
You may have to deal with a few accidents before your pet learns where the bathroom is. Are you prepared to deal with urine and poop on your carpet and bed? Potty training is only the beginning.
If you plan to enroll in pet training classes, you will need to add that to your budget.
4. Where Will You Get Your Pet?
Getting a pedigree can sometimes be good for first-time pet owners as they can do more research. However, some breeders are unethical, and you may end up getting a pet that has far more issues. Look for a reputable breeder who takes good care of their animals.
You may also consider getting a pet from the animal shelter instead. Studies show that over 6.5 million pets end up in shelters every year. Unfortunately, less than half of these animals find a new home.
5. Will Your Pet Fit Your Lifestyle?
Before you buy a pet, you first need to decide if it can fit your lifestyle. Are you a remote worker with a lot of free time? Do you spend long hours in the office?
It can be cruel to leave a pet home alone for so long. If you have a high-energy pet, will you have the time to spend with them? Even if your pet is low-maintenance, it doesn’t mean you can leave them alone.
6. What if Your Pet Has Health Issues?
Certain breeds are susceptible to certain health issues. For example, your pet may have food allergies, so you may have to invest in special pet food. In addition, dog breeds like German Shepherds are prone to joint problems, and some shelter animals have existing health issues.
You can do your best to keep your pet in good health, but it’s always best to look into local veterinary care for pets.
7. Should You Get Pet Insurance?
Did you know that you could also get insurance for your pet? Pet insurance can help you with emergency funds, especially if your pet is prone to illness. It can also help with injuries, hospitalization, and surgeries.
However, like regular insurance, remember that you will have to pay premiums. If you don’t want to get insurance, you may have to set aside emergency funds for your pet.
8. Do You Have Any Other Pets?
You may think you’re ready for another pet because you already have experience. However, keep in mind that getting a pet will not only affect you. Will your new pet get along with your current one?
Your pets may be apprehensive with each other as they learn to set their boundaries, but what if they start fighting? Will you be able to take the time to help them acclimate with each other? As a pet parent, you want to ensure that your pets will be comfortable with each other.
9. What About Roommates or Family?
Is your roommate or spouse comfortable with welcoming a new pet? If you have children, will they respect the animal? Buying a pet does not only affect you but your entire household.
10. Why Do You Want a Pet?
Finally, you need to determine why you want a pet in the first place. Do you want a pet to keep you company while living alone? Do you want a dog that can protect you from intruders?
Some people buy pets for companionship at home or to become more active. Understand your motivations first so you can find the best pet for your home.
What You Need to Know Before You Buy a Pet
If you want to buy a pet, you need to ensure you’re the right pet parent for them. Pets are social and sensitive, and they have needs! Take care of your pet so they can take care of you.
Do you think you’re ready to own a pet? Don’t stop here! We have more guides to help prepare you for your new life as a pet parent.