What to Consider Before Getting a Pet

Animal shelters in the see around 8 million cats, dogs, kittens, and puppies enter their shelter each year. Unfortunately there aren’t enough people to adopt these pets and around 4 million of them are put to sleep each year. Why is this? Well there are several reasons.

People often find themselves lonely from a recent breakup or from their children leaving home and think they will get a pet to keep them company, but what they don’t consider is the care pets need and the time it takes to care for a pet. They eventually either get tired of taking care of the animal or find something else that occupies their time, leading them to decide that they don’t need the pet anymore, so they take the animal to the shelter, thinking someone will adopt the animal.

Some people simply refuse to have their pets spayed/neutered and then leave them to roam freely. This leads to pregnant animals and owners who don’t want the kittens/puppies. They then either give them away or take them to a shelter.

Sometimes a dog gets pregnant by a stray and the owners don’t want the puppies simply because they aren’t pure blooded dogs and take them to a shelter.

More often than not, people simply don’t consider all that is involved with owning a pet. They think they can buy a pet and leave them in the backyard and everything will be fine. When they come home and discover the dog has chewed on everything in site, they get upset at the dog, even though it’s their fault for not training their dog. Instead of taking the time to train the dog after this happens they simply take them to a shelter.

There are many more reasons than this, but do you see a pattern? Basically people aren’t doing the research they should before getting a pet and they don’t consider the time and energy that is involved in caring for a pet. So what should you do before getting a pet?

  1. Make sure you aren’t just getting a pet to fill an empty spot in your life. The spot may quickly be replaced, making the animal more of an accessory than a companion.
  2. Always do your research on the type of pet you are getting. Too often people don’t do this and end up with a breed of dog that is aggressive towards their children or simply likes to chew on everything in the house. You should look at the breed of animal you are getting and what the characteristics are. Are they very energetic? Do they have a tendency to bite?
  3. Make sure you have a secure job. Too often, especially in this day and time, people either lose their job or change jobs causing them to have to move. This can lead to the owner having to find another home for their pet in a short amount of time. Usually this isn’t possible and they have to take their animal to a shelter. So ask yourself if you see yourself if you job is secure or if you choose to find another job will it be in the same area.
  4. If you rent your home make sure your landlord doesn’t plan on selling the place anytime soon. Sometimes landlords can decide to sell the place you are living in, usually giving you around 30 days to move out, sometimes less. You won’t always be able to find another place to rent, on such a short notice, which will allow pets.
  5. Make sure no one in your household is allergic to the pet you are getting. Nothing is worse than bringing home that new kitten or puppy and finding out you can’t keep it because your spouse or child is sneezing all over the place and swelling up like a big balloon.
  6. Is your home ready for a pet? In other words, are there things that are easily breakable, stainable, chewable, etc? These are the things you will face when you bring home a kitten or puppy. They are small and don’t know any better, until you train them.
  7. Be prepared to train your animal. Pets don’t come ready to go straight from the breeder. You must take the time to teach your pet not to chew on things, to use the bathroom outside, etc.
  8. Can you control the pet you are choosing? Sometimes people buy animals that are either too big to control, such as a Great Dane, or they end up being intimidated by the pet they get. Sometimes pets can be aggressive in order to show you that they are boss, if they can tell you are afraid of them they will only get worse. You must realize that if you show them you aren’t going to be intimidated that they will back down and realize that you are the leader of the pack.
  9. Make sure you have the money to be able to take care of a pet. Animals need to be taken to the vet at least once a year, but when they are small they must go several times to get their shots, to be spayed/neutered, and get checkups. This all adds up. Plus there’s the cost of food, toys, brushes, litter, etc.
  10. Decide on whether or not you want a puppy/kitten or a cat/dog. Getting an older animal will most of the time allow you to skip housetraining because most are already trained.

You really must do this research, if not you’ll end up with a pet that you end up taking to a shelter. Once there, depending on the shelter, the pet may have as little as 24 hours to be adopted before being put to sleep. So I ask you, could you live with yourself, if you were the cause of an animal’s death? Because there is a good chance you will be, if you don’t truly think about getting a pet and do the research.

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