Deciding to Get a New Pet

When you decide to bring a new pet into your family there are several things that need to be considered. There is a lot more to owning a new pet then just the initial purchase and taking it home. The best way to make sure that a new pet fits your situation and family is to do extensive research on the pet you are deciding on before bringing it home. It is always good to research several different animals to determine which one best fits your need. Once you have chosen your pet then do extensive research on it before you bring it into your family.

The first thing you should reasearch is the diet, housing, basic care, and health issues of the pet before you purchase it. Once you know about the basic care of the pet then you should research to make sure that it fits your famliy situation. Does the pet do good with children if you have children or are planning on having children around the pet? How much space does the pet have? Do you have enough time to properly take care of the new family member?

Catahoula
Catahoula

Does the New Pet Fit with Your Family or Situation

When deciding to get a new pet it is very important to make sure the pet fits with your family and situation. If the pet does not match with your daily activities or current situation it makes it very hard for the pet to adjust and difficult on you to properly take care of the pet.

Make sure your pet is not going to outgrow your house or you. If you live in a one bedroom small apartment getting a Great Dane may not be the best option. You need to make sure that you have adequate space for your animal to get exercise and move around freely. It is important that your pet can get the exercise it needs to keep healthy but also if you have an active dog that does not get outside enough it may end up tearing apart your house. Also consider this with larger animals such as horses and livestock. If you only have a small space for them you will end up having to purchase more food for them or finding part time pasture for them.

Some animals do not do well with young children and if you have young ones or soon to have a baby you should consider a pet that is socialized with children. Also getting a pet that your family can handle is very important. If you don't have the time to train a puppy or kitten then it might be better to find a dog or cat that is already trained and will adjust well to your busier lifestyle. With that idea make sure that you are able to train or can afford to have your pet trained if you are unable. This is especially for larger pets such as horses. Many people think that buying a young horse is a great idea because you can raise it but often they do not know how to train a horse so it is safe to ride or cannot afford to have it trained. It is always best to consider your needs and the needs of the new pet before you bring it home.

The Initial Cost is Just the Beginning

Another very important consideration is the continuous cost of the pet after you adopt or purchase it.  Animals are all expensive (even the free ones) to take care of properly and can cost thousands of dollars a year to keep healthy. You should consider the cost of food, any special needs the animal may have, the vet bill just for regular check-ups and shots, not including if there is an emergency, and grooming costs. All of the little costs of the pet add up very fast.

If you are working or travel you may have to board your pet while you are gone, or if you have a large animal you may have to board it all the time. Boarding animals can get very expensive very quickly and you want to make sure that the boarding facility is safe. If you board make sure that they require all the pets that come through to be fully facinated so your pet does not get sick. Vet bills resulting from boarding accidents or sickness can become very expensive and can be very hard on your pet.

Bringing the Pet Home

Once you have done your homework make sure that you are set up for your new family member before it comes home. It is best to be fully prepared to make the critter more comfortable as soon as you get it home. Make sure the cage or pen is set up and you have food and water ready, especially if they have a long trip to their new home.  Often times when bringing a new pet home they have just been weaned and are not as well socialized and may act very different once at your home.  They may become sick or hide until they have become accustomed to their new home.  When you get home it is often best to give the pet a few days to a week to adjust before trying to introduce the rest of the family to it and playing with it. It is also a good idea to keep it isolated from your other pets in case it becomes sick or has any contagious health problems. Hopefully they are completely healthy and most breeders do their best to insure this, but it is always best to be cautious.

A good thing to remember when getting a new pet is to find out what the breeder was feeding.  By feeding the same thing it will help the pet to adjust to their new home.  Some animals have a hard time adjusting straight to a new food and may need to be weaned off of the old food. Ask what the breeder is feeding and what time they usually feed at.  If you are not planning to feed what the breeder feeds, it is a good idea to get enough food from the breeder to mix with what you are planning to feed to wean them onto the new food. This helps make the transition easier and keeps your new pet healthy and eating.

If you do your research before bringing home a new pet you should find the perfect pet for you and your family. Also consider adopting a pet instead of purchasing one from a breeder, there are thousands of great pets looking for the perfect home.  If, however, you get a pet and find out that it just does not match your family please try to find a home that will properly care for it.  It is not a good idea to list your pet in the free ads as it will encourage people that may not be able to take care of it properly to take it home. It may result in the pet becoming unhealthy because it is not being properly taken care of, being passed from home to home, or backyard breeders getting new breeding stock.

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