All families will at some point face the decision as to whether or not they should get a pet. Perhaps mom or dad had a pet when they were younger, or maybe the kids are clamoring for a puppy, kitten or hamster – whatever the reason, a pet of any kind can be a wonderful new addition to a family and a great companion for both you and your kids.
Pets come in all shapes and sizes, and have a wide range of needs which you will need to attend to as part of your daily routine. For this reason alone, the choice to get a new family pet should never be taken lightly. And, as well as these needs (which can sometimes be costly), a pet will also require love, attention and care.
Getting a New Dog or Cat
Dogs and cats are common choices for families who want to bring a pet into the family, however they can often prove to be the most demanding and costly of pets! If you do decide to get a new dog or cat it’s important to prepare thoroughly for the arrival of your new pet. Before your pet arrives you should:
- Check that the breed of pet you want has a suitable temperament for being around children and/or other animals, if you have them.
- Prepare your home – this will involve creating a space in your home for your pet to sleep, as well as possibly gating stairs and making sure your outside area is secure for your pet to play in.
- Buy all of your pet’s accessories, such as a collar, tag, bed, bowl and toys.
- Estimate the cost of having a dog or cat and factor in things like insurance to protect you against emergency veterinary bills. Pets can be expensive, so it’s important to be as prepared as possible.
Getting a Rodent or Reptile
Rodents and reptiles are a little more exotic than dogs or cats, but because they are smaller they often have less costly and time consuming needs. Many children like them because they’re unusual, which is particularly true of reptiles. However rodents and reptiles have their own complex needs and requirements, which you should always research thoroughly before you decide to get a rodent or reptile as a new pet. Things to take into consideration include:
- To what size your new reptile is likely to grow
- If the pet is to be a gift for a child, you should make sure they are able to competently look after them.
- To what extent your new rodent or reptile will require human interaction.
Fish are possibly the least demanding of all pets, which is why so many families choose to have them instead of a dog, cat, rodent or reptile! They’re not as long lived as other pets but they are beautiful and can have a calming effect in any home. Fish tanks can be as simple or complicated as you like, although it’s best to check as to what kind of environment your new fish will need before settling on a tank. Although they’re undemanding, fish still have needs which must be attended to, from checking the temperature of their water to giving them the right food or installing the right water filter.