As the number of people with pets in the UK continues to rise, we want to ensure that soon-to-be pet parents are in the know before expanding their fur family.
We know that pets are easy to love but are they easy to look after? Here’s what you should be asking yourself before getting a new pet:
Which pet is right for me?
First things first, it’s important to consider what kind of animal and breed will suit you and your lifestyle. Many of these questions will be answered below, as the type of pet you choose will depend on space, budget and lifestyle. However, we would encourage you to carry out in-depth research first, so that you can fully understand their different temperaments and needs.
What if I already have pets?
They say you’re either a cat or a dog person, but what if you’re both? Consider what pets you may already have and whether or not they will be compatible. Pets such as cats, dogs, guinea pigs and rabbits are highly sociable animals but it may take some time for them to get used to each other, so be sure to supervise their first few short encounters and look out for behaviour changes that may be caused by stress.
Do I have the time?
If you work full time then you should seriously consider whether having a pet is right for you. Dogs need lots of regular exercise and stimulation and therefore wouldn’t thrive if left to their own devices. Cats on the other hand, are much more independent and can easily roam outdoors with the help of a cat flap. Similarly, small furry animals can exercise themselves, however that’s not to say they don’t need daily cleaning and feeding etc. A pet is a full time commitment so it’s crucial to think about whether you’re willing to make sacrifices for them as you would a child.
Can I afford it?
Providing your pet with everything he or she needs doesn't come cheap, so it’s vital that you do your sums before investing in a new family member. One way of reducing costs is by adopting an animal as opposed to buying one, however you will still need to consider the cost of vet bills, food, medication, toys, bedding and potentially day care. It’s tempting to ignore this issue as people are often distracted by how ‘cute’ they are, but unfortunately love isn’t enough to provide for them.
Do I have enough room?
No matter what species, animals need plenty of space and environmental stimulation to explore their natural instincts. Before welcoming a new pet into your home, think carefully about whether you have adequate space to allow them to do this. Most animals will need some sort of outdoor space for when nature calls as well as allowing them to stretch their legs! If it's a rabbit or guinea pig you’re after then they will need a vast space to run and hop.
Of course getting a new pet is also an incredibly exciting time and if you’re anything like us then you’ll fall instantly in love with your new fur baby, making all of the above seem worth it!
Whatever your reasons for getting a new pet, make sure they’re the right ones.