Pet Talk: How to choose a pet
Around the holidays, it’s common that people consider giving pets as gifts to loved ones. Prior to considering this, it’s important to understand how to choose a pet for your family.
It’s also important to keep in mind that it’s crucial to never give a pet as a gift unless the receiver and their family is prepared for one.
One of the first things to consider prior to getting a new pet is, if you currently have another pet, then will they accept a new one? In addition, will your current pet be OK with a new pet of a different species?
The next question to consider — What are you looking for in a pet? Do you want a couch potato? A running partner? Do you have kids? Certain pets are able to better acclimate to active lifestyles than others. In addition, there are certain pets that wouldn’t be up for sitting around the house all day — but there are plenty who would love to do so. Also, if you would like your child to participate in the care of the pet, then be sure to choose one that will fit your expectations.
Also, it is unrealistic to expect a child to be solely responsible for a pet’s needs — you need to be prepared to be a part of this as well.
Other things to consider
It is important to consider if your housing situation will suit your pet prior to getting one. If you rent, then will your landlord allow this pet? Are you allowed to have multiple pets? It’s all too common that a pet owner will have to give up their beloved animal due to a landlord or association restriction that they didn’t know about. Certain cities have breed restrictions so be sure you are familiar with what your town/city requires. Lastly, will your current housing situation suit your dog’s needs? A Great Dane living in a tiny condo isn’t always idea.
Can you afford to have a pet? This is a very important consideration. Certain breeds have predispositions for certain diseases. These things are important to remember when researching certain breeds. Some pets require special housing and diets such as exotic animals. Dogs require socialization and training — is this something that you can manage? Regardless of the species or breed, every type of pet requires a financial commitment.
If you are not sure if a certain pet is right for your family, then ask your veterinarian. We are happy to talk it over with you and provide you with information that will help you make a decision. We can help you choose a pet that will be compatible with your family’s lifestyle.
Sheila Fitzpatrick, DVM, owner of Mountain Mobile Vet and The Animal Hospital Center, submitted this column. You can reach her at 970-328-7085.
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