By Mriganka Saurabh Singh
A pet can transform our life beautifully by filling it with love, enjoyment, and positive energy. They have an extraordinary relationship with their humans and have proved to bring emotional balance to the family. The right pet can boost cheerfulness and peace in the house and make it a home. Although a pet makes a home wherever we settle with them They shower us with unconditional love and laughter so does it not make it our responsibility to give them the space accustomed to their requirements and comfort?
- Type of Pet – The most crucial question is whether you’re a cat person or a dog person, both or you would like to keep some birds or fish. All pets have particularly different needs. Say a cat requires no socialization and no walks generally whereas a dog requires regular socialization and daily walks. While dogs and cats have to be fed thrice a day and need regular supervision, fish and birds need to be fed once a day with no attention. You must do thorough research on their lifestyle before making up your mind. You can keep a fish if you’ve got no time on your hand.
- Space for the Pet – Once you’ve decided on the type of pet, consider how much space do you have for the pet. While a cat and smaller breeds of dogs like a Beagle, pug, etc can live in small apartments, spaces and comfortably settle down, large dog breeds like a German shepherd, Golden retriever and Rottweiler require gardens and open spaces for their exercise, movement, and general adjustment. Choose a breed according to the space available in your house. It makes life easy for you as well as your pooch.
- Age of the Pet – You must be wondering why age plays a role in this decision, well it really does! A puppy/kitten is just like an infant with a handful of needs and requires constant attention and 24*7 supervision, vet visits, regular meals, basic obedience training, playtime, and have no fixed sleeping hours whereas an elder dog/cat requires less attention and have a fixed routine with minimal needs.
- Your lifestyle – It is crucial to consider your daily routine and check if it is aligned with the requirements of your pet. Some breeds are more needy than the rest hence the decision should also depend on how much time will you be able to spare for the pet. Who will look after the pet when you’re away? Can you give them their meals on time? Can you take them out regularly? These are some important questions to consider. If you have no time in hand and are busy throughout the day or have a small space you can always keep a bunch of fish or a pair of love birds.
- Family members and Children – Kids are an important factor in getting a pet. Their age, temperament and attention requirements have to be aligned with your decision of choosing a pet accordingly. There are certain breeds that are known to be child-friendly like the Boxer, Labrador, Beagles, and Golden retrievers. You must also consider the adjustment of other family members living in the house with the pet, like the elderly.
- Finances – You must carefully sit down and draft an annual budget of how much you can spend on the pet, it should not be an impulse buy. It is a significant spend for the next 10-15 years of your life. Food, supplements, along with vet visits can burn a hole in your pocket and hence you must take a pet according to your financial situation. While some pets are high maintenance and require a hefty budget, others can survive on low maintenance as well. Choose wisely!
- Temperament of the Pet– Every pet has a unique temperament and personality. Your pet’s temperament should suit your lifestyle as well as your family members. All the pets must go through basic obedience training. If you don’t have the time or adequate resources you must take professional help through a certified trainer. Especially in the case of some large dog breeds as they require more training than the rest to avoid aggressive behavioural incidents in the future. In such situations, patience and compulsive training is a key requirement.
- Your expectations – Each human being has a unique personality and has their own set of expectations with their new pet. It is possible that someone lost a pet and wants to keep a second pet but they should not compare the new one with the older pet. Being ready for a fresh start with a new pet is the best way to go about it.
- Local laws – Every country, area and society have its own set of rules with respect to pets. Some societies have a no-pet policy while others don’t allow pets in their lifts. Before getting your pet home you must go through the entire set of rules so that it saves you time and effort later if anyone points a finger.
- Pet-proofing the house – A major point that many pet parents miss out on! A responsible pet parent will always pet-proof the house before the arrival of the pet. Make sure you protect your furniture with covers, get any loose electrical cable/switch repaired, keep the kitchen area out of bounds to avoid toxic digestion, and use pet gates to keep the pet indoors.
A pet is a lovable, special, cute, and unique addition to your family. It is a member for life! While one right decision can give you the best mate for your life a wrong one can turn your life upside down. Invest in responsible pet parenting and bless your home with happiness and love for a lifetime! Cheers!
* Mriganka Saurabh Singh is a young writer, a proud army wife and a loving mother to her three beautiful dogs, Joey, Mufasa and Simba. She likes to spend her time blogging, playing with her dogs and travelling.