If you have been thinking about whether getting a pet is right for you, then there are lots of things to think about before deciding to go ahead. The type of pet to get will vary depending on your circumstances, such as how much time you have to care for it, and whether you can afford the costs of food and vets bills. If you would like a pet companion in your life, here are some things to consider that will help you choose the right pet for you.

Time

Some pets require lots of your time and are a big commitment. For example, a dog will not like being left at home all day while you go to work and will need taking for walks twice per day. However, if you do have plenty of time on your hands, then a dog may be a good choice.

Pets that require a little less of your time are pets such as cats and rabbits. Cats are very independent and are usually happy to spend a few hours outdoors if you are not there.
Having a pet of any kind will require you to be present to feed it. If you have vacations planned, you will need a reliable person to look after your pets while you are away.
If you lead a busy lifestyle, then pets that you just look at, rather than pets you need to spend a lot of time interacting with, are a better option. Observational pets include reptiles that live in tanks and fish.

Space

Do you have enough space for the pet you want? You might like the idea of getting rabbits, for example, but they will need access to a run large enough for them to have a good run about it, as being confined to a hutch is not an option. So ideally you will need access to a lawn area, as well as somewhere sheltered to keep a hutch.

If you have a lot of outdoor space, then getting a dog might seem like a great idea. However, dogs are great escape artists, and you will need to make sure you have secure fencing to contain them. A small dog fence is one way to make sure your dog stays within your boundary.

The size of your home will also have an effect on your pet choices, such as choosing small breeds of dog if you have a small house, rather than a large breed.

Costs

Pets cost you money on an ongoing basis, so make sure you can afford to keep one. Large dogs eat an incredible amount of food, whereas smaller dogs are cheaper to feed.
Most animals with fur will need regular treatment for parasites and worms, and you will need to take them for annual vet check-ups, as well as pay for any medical treatments they may need if they get hurt or become ill.

If you don’t have anyone to look after your pets while you are away from home for a while, you need to factor in the costs of finding kennels or catteries that will take them for you.

Your Health and Age

Are you fit enough to look after a pet? If you want a dog for companionship, you need to be fit enough to walk it every day. Pets that live outdoors, such as rabbits, will need their housing cleaning out, you will need to lift hay and straw, as well as moving their run to fresh areas of grass.

Age may also play a part in choosing a pet. Parrots can live for 50 to 95 years, depending on the species, and reptiles like tortoises can live to be over 100 years. This is an important thing to bear in mind, as there is a possibility pets of this kind may outlive you.

Noise

If you like a quiet house, then getting a noisy pet will just make you feel stressed. Not only that, you might upset your neighbors if you have adjoining walls or gardens.

On the other hand, if you want to up your home security, a dog with a loud bark is often more than enough to make any intruder think twice.

You should also think about how the noise level in your home will affect the pet you choose, as animals will find loud noise stressful too. If family members like to play loud music, or if you are of an age where you need the TV turned up high, it is best to consider the effect this might have before choosing to bring a pet into your life.

Adjustment Period

When you bring a pet home, it may take some time for you to adjust to living together. Puppies will need to be puppy trained, and expect this with kittens as well, so you need to be willing to clean up some mess to begin with.

Cats will also scratch your furniture, so you need to protect sofas where you can, and provide a scratching post.

Any new pet is likely to be timid at first, so make sure your home is a welcoming place where noise is kept to a minimum. Provide your pet with a quite space in the house where they can escape to if they feel like it.

Taking on a pet is not a decision that you should rush into, and there are lots of things to consider before deciding to bring a pet home. Take the time to consider all aspects of looking after you chosen pet carefully, and only bring an animal home if you are fully able to commit to its care.

However, once you have found the right pet for you, you will enjoy many happy times together. They are there to welcome you home, and to be a companion when you need one. They share all the big parts of your life with you, and become a part of your family.