Adding a pet to your home is an important decision. One that should not be taken likely or done on a whim. Unfortunately, many families do what I have done and don’t think through the consequences of a pet in their household. We fall in love with an adorable puppy. Take him home only to find out the breed is not quite right for our family environment.
Often people adopt an animal but later have misgivings about the amount of care and time it requires. I have seem people who swing from feeling wildly excited about their new pet. Only to bringing it back to the shelter or pet store because it is not inconvenient for their life style.
When I hear of this it totally burns me up! Pets are not a new toy or novel item to be discarded when it becomes a hassle to care for or the newness has worn off. When you get a pet they become a family member, and an important reasonability to care for and love.
We have all heard the stories of people who decided to by a python only to have it out grow its enclosure and be released into the wild. Down in Florida we have some of these former “pets” completely destroying the ecosystem of the Florida everglades. In our disposable society, it is become far to frequent that family’s adopt a pet and don’t take into consideration if it is the right pet for them before they bring it home.
Speaking from personal experience I watched a loving, sweet dog become intensely fearful and aggressive after it was brought back to the pound. It had spending over a year with it’s prior owner until she no longer had a use for the dog and it became an inconvenience for her. It was absolutely heartbreaking. To me actions like this are selfish, cruel and irresponsible. In our disposable society it is become far to frequent. The idea of having a family pet is wonderful until it is brought home and in need of feeding, care and time. The animal is then returned, discarded or given away like yesterdays news.
In my view this heartbreak could be avoided if families took a little bit of time to examine what pet would be right for them before they head out to the pet store. Here are 5 things to consider when looking for a family pet.
How much time do you have?
Do you work crazy hours, long shifts? Do you have to travel frequently? Remember the level of care a pet such as a dog will need. Consider if your schedule will allow you to care for it properly. If you travel frequently and have to board the pet all the time, a dog might not be right for you. Your lifestyle may be better suited for a more independent animal.
How much care can you give your pet?
After having children I was not able to give my pets the care I wanted to. I no longer had the time and ability to devote to the care of my animals. Not in the way I did before having children. Things like picking up the yard and brushing them weekly were no longer activities I could fit into an over packed schedule of caring for children and working full-time. Be honest as to what you are able to devote to the care of a pet. You have to consider you might no longer have the time to purse other things in exchange for the care of your pet. If you can not see yourself doing this a pet may not be the right choice for you right now.
What type or breed of animal a good fit for you?
After 101 Dalmatians came out, many families were enamored with Dalmatian puppies. They were in for a rude awakening. They soon discovered Dalmatians are high energy and get restless when left alone for too long. (Like when you are at work or your kids are at school.) These types of puppies while cute might not the best fit for busy families. Consider the disposition and traits of the animal. Do a little research before you adopt your pet so that your home and family will be a good fit for you and for your new animal. You can take this Animal Plant Pet Picker quiz to help you get started in finding the fight pet for you.
How big will your pet grow?
How much space you have and how large the animal will grow to be makes a big difference in what type of pet you decide on. If you get a mastiff puppy but live in a small apartment with no yard. There are going to be some lifestyle adjustments the family will need to make. If you get a pet that is high energy having a backyard might be a necessity. It might be prudent to consider how much space your pet will need to have a happy, healthy life. ? This is something that happens frequently with snakes, and lizards.
“That beautiful 20-inch baby Burmese python may fit well in a 5 or 10-gallon aquarium style tank when you first bring it home from the pet store, but within 5 months it is likely to reach 5 feet, and it has the potential to grow to 18 feet at maturity. Keeping an 18-foot snake is obviously a very different proposition than you bargained for when you left the store cheerfully toting your aquarium and thinking that was all that you were ever going to need. Buying that snake only to have to find a new home for it before it reaches maturity is unfair both to you and to the animal,”-Peteducation.com
What changes in family environment might affect your pet?
Take into consideration what your future might bring to the life of this pet. Are you planning to move in a few years? Do you planning on another baby? Are there other animals in the home? Different types of animals react differently to these environmental changes. Some better then others. Some pets might be more sensitive to simple changes such as a new feeding time or seasonal weather patterns. (like summer thunderstorms.) If you have an idea what changes are in store for your family environment it would be helpful in selecting a pet that can adapt to these changes.
Pets are life changing in the most wonderful way. They can provide the love and companionship that can fill in an empty space in your family. Pets can give that unconditional love and affection making your household complete. Adopting a pet is a responsibility. You owe it to yourself and the animal to take the time to ensure you can provide the love and care it needs.