Issue #129 2009-06-25

Articles

Homework Before Housebreaking

Six Questions to Ask Before Purchasing a Pet

by Briana Krantz

One: What do you want the pet for?
Different pets can fit different interests you may have. Do you want a dog for hunting, a pet you can exercise with, one that’s good with children, or ones that will like water or car rides. These are important factors to consider before deciding on a pet. If you do not choose a pet that will fit your lifestyle, it is much more likely that you will not be happy with the pet. Plus, it will be more fun to be able to include your new pet in the things you love to do. They will quickly become one of the family.

Two: What types of potentially bad characteristics can you live with?
Very rarely will you find a pet that you are 100 percent content with all the time. Even the best pets can have some characteristics that may be negative to your lifestyle. For example, some dogs drool excessively, many animals shed quite a bit, some dogs bark more than others. Research the type of pet you want before you go ahead with picking it out.

Three: Can you support a pet financially?
One thing many people do not consider when getting a new pet is the cost of the pet annually, not just at the time of getting it. Most larger pets will need veterinary visits for vaccinations, yearly check-ups, wormer, etc. Many pets also need extra care such as grooming, training, haircuts, and boarding. Plus, there are the more obvious expenses of food and housing. Research the type of pet you want; call a local veterinarian and find out the normal expenses for that type of pet, plus what types of unexpected problems you might run into with that specific pet.

Four: What type of climate do you want the animal to withstand?
Is your pet going to be an indoor or outdoor pet? Some dog breeds can only do one or the other, some can do both. No matter what kind of animal, you should provide shelter of some sort. Research the breed of the animal and make sure you will be able to accommodate to their needs, both financially and spatially.

Five: What kind of feeding routine do you want to be able to have?
Decide if you want a pet that needs to be fed everyday, or one that needs less attention. Pets like cats and dogs are going to require feeding everyday, multiple times per day. Pets like rodents or birds can often be fed every couple of days or so.

Six: How long do you want the pet for?
When deciding on a pet, put a lot of thought into how long you want the pet to last. If you are looking for more of a companion, try a pet that will be around for a while. If you want a more short-term pet, try something like a bird, hamster, or gerbil. Fish are very easy, aesthetically pleasing pets, and will generally not last that long, depending on the type of fish.