The process of choosing the right dog or cat for your family is not an impulse decision and should take careful time and consideration. This important milestone affects not only your family and children, but the precious life, well-being, and happiness of your future pet as well. The most common and easily cared for animals are cats and dogs, as these animals are most easily suited for most homes and lifestyles.
Factors to Consider in Getting a New Pet
Once you’ve decided what type of animal you and your loved ones would like to adopt into your home, it’s always good to communicate to all household members that this is a long-term commitment. Factors that are important to consider are:
- Whether the dog or cat you choose is going to be friendly to younger children or better with older children and adults
- Will a current companion tolerate a new companion being brought into the household? Checking with a veterinarian on the mixing of different dog breeds into the household may supply valuable information on what choice of a new addition will make a good fit into the home
- Who will be providing the majority of care for the animal? Sometimes parents expect children to be solely responsible for their cats or dogs care, and with inexperience can lead to neglect and unintended mistreatment
- Understanding the level of exercise will be needed on a day to day basis, along with their nutritional needs
- Some pets need more companionship and attention than others, and have different life expectancies
- The approximate cost it will take to adequately take care of your animal; veterinary care and grooming, vaccinations, food, and possible emergency related expenses are just a few
- Who will care for the animal if vacations arise or when no one is at home due to work or school? Animals cannot be left unattended for long periods of time due to toileting and feeding needs
Reasons for Returning Dogs and Cats to Shelters
These are just some of the very important situations to consider in the ability to properly care for and love a furry critter. Talking to a veterinarian about all of these situations and getting a better understanding of the needs of animals can help to determine whether or not those responsible can provide the best care to ensure a healthy and happy life.
One of the biggest reasons that dogs and cats are returned to animal shelters or given up for adoption is either due to unfilled expectations, or simply not investing the time and effort necessary to make an informed decision about taking on the responsibility of a pet. The welfare of animals we take in as pets is like taking them in as being part of our family; these animals depend on us for their well-being and happiness. It is our duty as their caretakers to ensure that they are given proper housing, disease treatment and prevention, responsible and loving care and handling, and in extreme and unfortunate cases, humane euthanasia.
And as always, all caring members should be made aware of all local pet ordinances and lease laws, and to avoid overpopulation, it is always prudent to have your animal spayed or neutered.