Pets such as dogs are very common in many households. Most pet owners consider their pets as members of their family since they benefit from the unconditional loyalty and love of the animals. However, owning a pet entails a big responsibility. Pets such as cats, dogs, birds, rabbits and other exotic animals require a considerable amount of commitment, time and money. But overall, having a pet can be a rewarding experience as long as you are prepared for your responsibilities.
Moreover, you don’t just go to the pet store and buy an animal to be your pet. As a responsible pet owner, here are some questions that you need to answer first before getting a pet:
1. Why do I need a pet?
Seeing other people having a dog or a cat as member of their household, probably, you have already asked this question several times. Why do I need a pet? Is it because most of my friends have a pet at home or because my children want one? One of the reasons why some pet owners end up regretting their decision about acquiring a pet is because they are not fully committed to the responsibilities of a pet owner. And this may be because they have the wrong reason for having one. You should own a pet because you want it and because you love animals.
2. What kind of pet should I get?
What kind of pet do you like most? There is a wide selection of pets that you can choose from. Among the popular choice are dogs, cats, fishes and birds. But other choices include rabbits and exotic animals such as hedgehogs. Each of these animals has certain requirements when it comes to caring for them. Some of them may be demanding of your time or may be expensive to maintain than others.
3. Am I prepared to take care of my pet for the rest of its life?
Raising a pet is like raising children. Being a responsible pet owner means taking care of the animal even at its best or worst condition. Are you willing to take this responsibility? Once you acquire a pet, there is no turning back, so you have to answer this question before getting one. Additionally, caring for a pet does not just mean feeding and giving it a safe place to stay. Some pets have also special requirements like exercise, play, grooming and others.
4. Can I afford to have a pet?
The cost of raising a pet is more than just the price you pay to acquire the animal. There are other costs associated to pet ownership such as vaccination, micro-chipping, regular checkups, training costs, medication in case of sickness, and others. This is aside from the regular expense you would spend on its food, vitamins or grooming. Of course, you also have to initially invest on its housing or cage, toys and other accessories.
The cost of owning a pet normally varies on the type of animal you have. But generally, it is expensive to own a pet. And you should consider that you will be spending not just for a year or two, but for more than ten years in case you own a dog or a cat.
5. Do I know the needs of my pet?
Every pet has its basic needs which pet owners need to understand. For instance, if you prefer to have a dog as pet, you should know the type of food to feed it, the daily exercises it needs to stay fit, the kind of living environment it should have, and other needs. Knowing and understanding the basic needs of your pet can help you take care of the animal and keep it healthy. Aside from basic needs, there are also other needs such as toys and accessories that can help your pet feel comfortable and pampered.
These are just some of the most basic questions that you first need to answer before going to a pet store or breeder to acquire a new pet. Knowing the answer to these questions can help you be prepared to be a responsible pet owner.