There are many reasons why you should buy a pet. For many, the simplest and strongest reason is often the cuteness factor. Having a furry, cuddly lovable creature to care for is in itself a rewarding experience. For today’s nuclear families that don’t have the time or inclination to raise a child, but still feel lonely, a pet dog or cat is a great way to add another member to the family.
However, given the sheer variety of breeds of pet (not to mention the dog vs. cat debate) choosing a pet is not an easy decision. Here is what you need to consider.
Dog or Cat?
This is the biggest question you have to ask yourself and your family. There are lot of aspects to the dog or cat debate. The easiest way to get the ball rolling is to identify allergies. For many, it is a hereditary allergy that prevents the entire family from access to either dogs or cat (due to fur during shedding season). There are a variety of other allergies that can emerge from extended contact to these animals.
Both dogs and cats have varying degrees of care. While both require a regimen of vaccinations, checkups and have miscellaneous medical needs, cats can be, to a large extent, left alone for extended periods of times without human contact. As per their typical perception, cats are not needy for human contact or company, and can pretty much mind their own business.
On the other hand, you would be hard pressed to find a healthy dog who does not get sad and depressed after extended periods of solitary isolation. For many, feeling needed is in fact the reason to get a dog (or avoid one)
It is a big mistake to pick up a puppy that looks cute, irrespective of its breed, for a few weeks of excitement from the family. While some breeds can stay healthy with an hour or two of walking around, many dogs are actually necessitated by a strict veterinary health code to have extensive regular exercise.
Additionally, your home, and the surrounding neighborhood, must be able to support your choice of pet. Even if you live in a quiet suburb that is safe for your dog to run around, it is also important to consider your house. Does it have a reasonably spacious walking area, or does your pet (dog or cat) keep bumping into things? Especially with cats, who are prone to suddenly bounding up doors and high-altitude fixtures, you need to have a thorough assessment of your house, preferably with a friend who owns, or has owned a cat.
Obviously the easiest indicator of your ability to care for a pet is a regular space in your budget for it. There is no pet, dog, cat, hamster or even a bird that does not require specific care, medication and nutrition that will eat out a sizable portion out of your earnings.