As we rapidly approach Christmas (wowzers it’s only 8 weeks away now!), and many of us consider buying the kids a pet, how appropriate to seriously ponder the idea of what it truly means to have the privilege of owning an animal.
Sadly, way too often animals are mistreated, taken for granted or abandoned and we realise that as humans, occasionally circumstances change that make it difficult to maintain our commitment to even the most loved pets.
I probably don’t have to remind you that animals are spiritual beings. They are incredibly intelligent creatures capable of feeling love, sadness, loneliness and elation, and many other human-like emotions. Deciding to welcome an animal into your family permanently should be considered a life-long commitment and therefore should not be taken lightly.
How much time do I have to spend with my pet?
Some pets require more attention than others in order to feel happy and safe. If you’re entire house is empty most days, it could be worth considering a low maintenance pet like a hermit crab or ant farm. Alternatively, if you’re set on a cuddle-buddy, consider a dog walker or pet day care to ensure you fur-baby never misses out.
Can I afford to feed and care for my pet?
This is important to consider because not only is there often a fee outlaid for a pet initially, but there are always ongoing costs associated with caring for a pet. Some things to consider include food, equipment (like water bowls, toys, puppy wee mats, collars, cages, day care and grooming, just to name a few), as well as general veterinary costs also need to be considered. Having experienced first hand the benefits of pet insurance, I highly recommend this for peace of mind in the case your pet becomes extremely ill or requires extensive veterinary care.
What type of pet will suit our family and lifestyle best?
There are more pet types than you’ve likely considered. Whilst puppies and kittens give loads of love and cuddles back, they also required a higher level of care and attention than perhaps a bird or a fish.
Consider how much time you have to dedicate to your new family member and what types of activities you’re able to commit to. Are you looking for a running buddy? Or would you like someone to talk to? Maybe you’re looking for the perfect family pet suitable for all ages. Regardless of the type of pet, before buying a baby animal, consider visiting the local animal shelter or RSPCA to adopt an animal who is in major need of a loving forever home.
Below you will find a fantastic link to the RSPCA website that provides a whole list of pet types and hopefully equip you with more information to help you decide which pet is the right fit for your family: https://www.rspca.org.au/adopt-pet
So before you pop your name down on a puppy wait list, ask yourself and your family ALL the necessary considerations when deciding which pet is right for you. Maybe it will be a puppy after all! Then again, maybe the new tamagotchi is the way to go!