The decision to get a pet is a big one. It impacts everyone in the family so this has to be a family decision.
Pets need four things (in spades):
– Time and attention
– Energy and
– A certain self less caring
Time and attention: pets will stay dependant on you their entire life. So it is important to understand this fact and then make your decision about getting a pet. Any pet – whether a dog, a cat, or a parrot, needs you to take time out to attend to its basic needs of food and health. There are some pets that are “low maintenance”- like cats or birds- as they don’t need to be walked, as opposed to dogs, that need to be walked, come rain come snow, every day at least twice a day. You must also register your pet with a local vet for yearly vaccinations and all medical emergencies. You also need to monitor your pet’s health. This is especially so as your pet gets older. Remember, your pet cannot tell you when it is unwell, and it is for you to keep an eye open for injury or ailments.
Money: Pets are expensive. You have to spend on their food, on vaccines and medicines, on vet visits. And if you travel frequently, then on pet boarding. Also, in the case of dogs- dog trainers. And if you don’t always have time to walk him/her, you might employ a dog walker. All this translates to a fair bit of expense.
Energy: Yes, pets require a lot of energy! With all of us leading busy lives with a zillion items on the to-do list, taking care of your pet is one more thing to do. Be ready to put this item right up there, because you are taking care of a living being. Your dog’s walk cannot wait because you are too tired to take him out!!
A certain self less caring: Why self less? Because there are no immediately tangible, quantifiable benefits to owning a pet. For all the reasons listed above, they are probably more trouble than they are worth.
But having a pet is probably one of the most emotionally fulfilling things you can do.