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How to select the right pet for your family?

How to select the right pet for your family?

Are you ready to bring home a forever friend? Before you head out to bring home a pet for your family, remember to think about whether that particular pet suits your lifestyle and your home. More often than not, we underestimate the size of the pet or the amount of care that goes into raising it, which ultimately leads to frustration and stress for both the pet and parents.

But, what if there was a way to help you determine the right pet for your home? Well, that's where we come in! Read along to learn of simple steps that can help you make a better-informed decision on choosing the right pet for your family.

Living Space
Where you live almost always determines which pet you get - pets that need room to roam (even after exercise) cannot live in apartments or homes without a fenced backyard. On the other hand, pets that are best kept in enclosed areas to minimize the risk of them escaping or running away do better in smaller homes where they can be monitored. Whether you live in an apartment or an estate, it is important to consider the amount of space you are able to dedicate to your pet - a home with lots of expensive furniture would enjoy a senior dog as opposed to a puppy or a kitten. Contrarily, a home with a large fenced-in backyard could consider a large, active dog or cat. Furthermore, small apartments most often find themselves home to critters, fish, and birds. When it comes to cats, critters, birds, and fish, living space doesn't play much of a deciding factor since they can thrive in almost any living space. However, it does get difficult when it comes to dogs. This is because one has to consider the breed, age, temperament, and size of the dog with respect to its living space. For example, toy breeds, like Shih Tzus, Lhasa Apsos, and Chihuahuas, don't mind apartment living as long as they receive their daily exercise. However, medium and large breeds, like Indies, Retrievers, Rottweilers, Dobermans, Boxers, etc most definitely require room to roam along with their daily physical exercise.

Division of Responsibility
Any pet - big or small is a longtime responsibility that is shared by members of the household. Pets that require more shared responsibility, like dogs, are often raised by families with more people, whereas pets that are easier to care for are looked after by single-member or double-member households. Considering the number of people in your household is crucial when deciding the right pet for you because only when responsibility is equally shared will everyone in the household enjoy their pet. Households with young children or senior citizens, i.e. those who cannot actively take part in shared responsibility of raising a pet cannot afford to raise pets which require a lot of time and effort - for example, medium and large breed dogs.

Amount of Exercise
As the pet grows, the amount of exercise they will need also increases. Walks that were only ten minutes are now raised to two hours thereby taking up more of the parents' time. If your household cannot dedicate sufficient exercise time as per your pet's age, breed, and size, it will soon turn out to be inconvenient to offer the required physical activity to the pet. This, in turn, leads to stress-based behaviors from the pet such as chewing, howling, pacing, aggression, yowling, etc causing unnecessary tension among members of the household. Hence if you as a family are not able to dedicate the required amount of physical exercise for the adult version of your pet, it is best to not adopt them when they are young.

Cost of Food & Care
The amount of food your pet will consume depends on their size as an adult. Hence, it is important to consider whether or not you will be able to afford good-quality food for your pet as per their requirement. Single-income households find it easier to adopt pets that are small in size like critters, cats, and birds, whereas multi-income households can afford dogs. Another important consideration here is care - for example, smaller animals require lesser time and effort when it comes to feeding, exercising, and cleaning. In other words, their care can be taken on by a single person. On the other hand, larger pets like dogs more often than not require more than one person to look after them. This, invariably raises the cost of care, especially if this care is sourced from outside, i.e. domestic help, pet walkers, pet sitters, boarders, etc.

Cost of Veterinary Bills
The cost of veterinary bills increases with the size of the pet, hence like the cost of food and care, single-income households are often able to afford raising smaller pets, like small dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, guinea pigs, and hamsters, whereas dual and multi-income households can afford to raise medium and large breed dogs.

Average Age
Homes with children or active adults benefit from active pets, like medium and large breed dogs or young, active cats. Contrarily, homes with older people enjoy senior pets or pets that don't run around as much. However, it is important to note that this is subjective and solely depends on the family's capacity to look after the pet they are bringing it - there are several households with older people that enjoy the company of young pets, as long as they are exercised regularly. Likewise, households with younger people can opt for smaller, less-active pets.

Existing Pets
Lastly, before deciding on bringing in a new pet, consider your existing pets' preferences - whilst some may not enjoy another pet's company, others crave companionship. It is also necessary to check the compatibility of the two pets you are going to be raising so as to avoid unnecessary mishaps in the future. For example, cats with fish aren't the best idea, whereas dogs with fish can be.

Now that are better aware of how to select the right pet for your family, you can enjoy years of togetherness with minimal hassle in pet parenting!

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