Pets are an incredible addition to the family. They’re wonderful companions and great for teaching kids important lessons about responsibility. But before you adopt, have you considered what type of furry friend is right for your family?
The first thing to consider when adopting a family pet is that any animal pal is a lifelong commitment, with ongoing and sometimes unpredictable costs. They will also alter your lifestyle, so consider how much time you can realistically devote to an animal. To help you decide which pet is right for you, here is our guide to some common household pets and their needs to consider:
Dogs make great companions and can be incredibly affectionate, but they need the most attention – even less active breeds require activity and stimulation outside of the backyard. So before you adopt, find out how much exercise your favorite breed requires.
Also, as a rule of thumb the larger the dog, the more money you’ll be spending at the vet. Heartworm, flea, tick, intestinal worming, antibiotics and more are all dosed according to weight.
Finally, it’s important to remember that any dog can be dangerous, especially without training. So if you want an animal you can feel safe having around your kids, you’ll need to be willing to invest in the appropriate training.
All animals need some contact time, but cats are much happier to find their own fun – and they don’t require walks. So if you’re looking for an easygoing companion, a cat might just be right up your alley. They also live longer than dogs, which may be something to consider if your living arrangements are likely to change. Look for a breed that isn’t aggressive if you have small children and consider a shorthaired cat, as longhaired animals require a lifetime of grooming.
If you’d prefer to make less of a time commitment, consider a ‘pocket pet’. Rabbits, ferrets or guinea pigs have shorter lifespans than dogs and cats and take up less room and maintenance. They do still require feeding, appropriate shelter, vaccinations and human contact though so they’re not a simple pet fix.
Rabbits and guinea pigs are gentle creatures and great for teaching younger children how much time and commitment goes into maintaining and loving a pet. They require regular hutch cleaning too, which is a great chore to teach the kids responsibility.
Ferrets are only appropriate for older kids, as they can bite. They also smell a bit more than other pocket pets, which you should be prepared for if you’re considering adopting one.
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