Whichever way you look at it, buying a pet is a big commitment, and it’s not one that you should enter into lightly. Maybe your kids have been bugging you to make an extra addition to your home for quite a while now, and you’re starting to come round to the idea and are keen to explore it further.
Preparation is absolutely key here, and there are a few important things you need to think about before you go ahead and decide that buying a pet is right for you. Here are five points to that will help you to make your choice…
Do you have the budget to cover the costs?
Owning a pet can be seriously expensive business. There’s the initial cost of the animal, of course, but that’s really just the beginning. You’ll have to provide food, training, bedding and toys, insurance, vet care, and the reality is that there are extra expenses that you might not even think about. What if, for example, your new puppy chews through an expensive pair of trainers, or has an accident on your carpet?
You need to go into this with your eyes wide open. Of course, the exact costs will be very dependent on the kind of pet that you choose. TotallyMoney has a fantastic pet costs calculator that you might want to use.
Will a pet fit into your lifestyle?
If you work long hours at the office, then a dog is almost definitely not the right kind of pet for you. You need to very carefully consider the time you have available, and the commitment that you can make to taking care of your new addition. Think about how often you’re at home, whether you enjoy getting out in the great outdoors, and the kind of life that you could give a pet.
This is one of the reasons why I decided to become a rabbit owner. Our bunnies fit perfectly into our family life.
What will happen when you go on holiday?
Do you have a friend or family member who will be happy to take care of your pet for a few weeks every summer? If not, is there a pet boarding service in your area that you could rely on? Before buying a pet this can seem like a small consideration, but it’s one that causes me stress each year.
I worry about whether the rabbits will be happy, whether they’ll be properly cared of, and the cost is significant too. Many of these worries are completely unjustified as I know logically that they’re fine, but I do believe that it’s important that you don’t underestimate the importance of care for your pets whilst you’re away.
Are your circumstances likely to change in the future?
Are you a stay at home mum at the moment, but plan to go back to work within the next few years? Are you planning on having more children in the future? Will you be moving house? It’s vital that you remember that buying a pet is a commitment that can last many, many years, and just because it’s right for you now, it doesn’t mean that will be the case further down the line.
Of course, we don’t always know what the future holds, and some life changes come out of the blue and are totally unexpected. Still though, it pays to think about what things will look like in a year, two years, or even ten years.
How pet-friendly is your home?
It’s likely that there will be changes that you’ll need to make to your home to ensure that your new addition is safe. You’ll need to make sure that any medicines are locked away. Cords and cables may have to be moved to prevent any chewing accidents. You even need to carefully assess the plants and flowers in your garden to ensure that they aren’t toxic.
This is just one of the reasons why buying a pet isn’t something that you should rush into. There’s preparation to undertake, and it’s not the kind of thing that you can decide to do on a whim.
Don’t get me wrong, being a pet owner is something that enriches my life, and I’d never change my decision to bring animals into my home. Taking the time to consider these things though is always a very wise idea.