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Deciding if a Pet is for You

You’ve taken everything out of storage, settled into a new home in a new city, and made new friends. So is it time for a new pet? There’s certainly something about pets, which makes any family and home feel complete. Maybe it’s their eagerness to welcome you home each evening or their willingness to put up with your snuggles and cuddles after a bad day at work, but whatever it is, sometimes they’re the perfect addition to your household. But before you rush out to save an animal, first consider these aspects of pet ownership:

 

Time Commitment

 

As exciting as it is to love and care for a pet, don’t forget they need walking, grooming, and feeding. This might mean no more happy hours after work, last minute trips to the beach, or overtime at the office. Also keep in mind, pets need training and loving to help prevent behavioral problems. And the longer you’re absent from their lives, the more distressed they’ll feel, causing them to act out as a result. What’s more, cats tend to live anywhere from 15 to 20 years, while pups generally live for 10 to 15 years, so make sure a pet is in your long-term future plan!

 

Pet Pricing

 

You might receive your kitty or pup for free, but of course, there are various other costs associated with them, from the price of vaccines to the cost of food. Petfinder.com estimates a medium-sized dog costs pet owners an estimated $1,115 the first year to cover the price of spaying/neutering, food, toys, crates, medical bills, and other miscellaneous costs. Kittens are slightly cheaper, costing roughly $640 in the first year, but don’t forget, they have longer life expectancies than dogs! Create a budget to see if an animal is in your price range.

 

Pet Temperaments

 

Although you may live on your own now, a spouse and child could be in your future down the road. Or, what if you move into a smaller space, such as an apartment? Cats can be pretty flexible, but there are some breeds of dogs that don’t do well with changes. Some dog breeds can’t live with cats, while others don’t get along with children. Furthermore, certain breeds can’t live in an apartment, and others don’t like sharing their owner’s attention. These are all scenarios you’ll want to consider before falling for the first set of puppy eyes you see at the shelter.