How to Choose the Perfect Pet for Your Family

February 13, 2019 11:45 am

The kids have been pestering you for so long about getting a pet that you have finally capitulated. However, you don’t really know what kind of pet would be right for your household. Some members want a dog and others want a cat. Others yet think that perhaps a rabbit would be a good idea. They do, after all, stay in their cage much of the time, but you aren’t too sure about that either. If you are looking for just the right pet for your family, here is some advice that might put you on the right path.

Consider Your Lifestyle

The very first thing you need to consider is your family’s lifestyle. If you are rarely ever home, a dog may not be the best choice. Dogs thrive on human attention and most dogs don’t do well being left alone for many hours each day. They will need to be walked regularly or you will have ‘accidents’ to contend with and some dogs get anxiety being away from their owners for extended periods of time. They are likely to chew shoes, furniture or anything they can sink their teeth into when left alone for long intervals, so maybe a cat with a litter box or a rabbit in a cage would be the better choices!

Ages of Family Members

Families with young children in the home should also be aware of the fact that little kids can be inadvertently hurt by the wrong choice of pet. Even though you’ve heard that that huge dog is really a gentle giant, it could knock a young child off its feet if allowed to run through the home or in the garden when kids are present. Some dogs are known biters, others don’t do well with kids, and others yet are perfect family pets in households with family members of all ages. Don’t simply get a dog because your child falls in love with it. Consider that child’s age and the temperament of the dog.

Cost of Caring for a Pet

If you are living on a tight family budget, you should know right from the very outset that some pets are simply more expensive to keep than others. Large dogs, for example, eat a lot of food and a good quality dog food isn’t cheap. Pets also demand veterinary care for their shots and pet check-ups, so you’ll need to consider the cost of that as well. Pet insurance, from a provider like Everypaw, can help cover you in the event your beloved pet needs to visit the vet for any reason. At Everypaw you can find both dog insurance and cat insurance! Some types of cover have a lifetime limit which will be recalculated at the beginning of each calendar year, and if you choose to get two pets for your family, you can even get multi-pet cover at a discount!

Who Will Be Responsible for Your Pet’s Care?

Next, you need to consider who will actually bear the brunt of caring for your pet. One thing that most parents have learned over the years is that you cannot immediately expect a child to develop a sense of responsibility if they’ve never had to care for anything other than themselves. Some kids even have trouble getting ready for school in the morning, so how can you expect them to remember to feed their pets every day? If you or your spouse work long hours, it may fall upon other family members to be the primary caregiver, so keep that in mind when choosing a family pet.

Location Is an Important Factor

Also, you should consider where it is that you are residing. Do you have a country home with lots of space for a dog to run or are you living in a flat in the middle of a city like London or Manchester? Some dogs need a lot of time and room to run while others are content to sit on the sofa, lounging most of the day. Cats and rabbits are kept indoors most of the time, so they would make great pets for apartment dwellers. In fact, some apartments have a “No Pet” policy but may make an exception for a caged pet like a rabbit or a bird. Location is going to be another huge factor when choosing a family pet.

So, there’s a lot to consider isn’t there? Yes, you want a pet, but finding the right pet for your family will take a great deal of thought. Don’t make the mistake of not considering everything that goes into bringing home a family pet because this can lead to frustration beyond what you can imagine. Choose a pet that gets on well with all members of the family and make sure you have the time and money to take great care of your new family member. There’s a lot to consider, so get it right and you’ll be welcoming a new family member before you know it.

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