Whether you are deciding to get your very first pet or adding another pet to your household, it is imperative to choose wisely. Approximately thirty percent of dogs and cats are relinquished between seven months and one year of age. Relinquishment is partially due to poor planning on the owner’s part, and the other factor is behavioral pet problems. This week’s article will give you some tools that will help you and your veterinarian or pet counselor find the perfect pet.
The following questions will help you determine whether this is an appropriate time to acquire and new pet and to find the perfect pet to fit your family’s lifestyle.
Choosing the perfect pet is a life-long commitment!
- How many people live in the household and what are their ages? Seniors will need a less active pet, while families with children will want a more active pet.
- What other pets live in the household, including their age, breed, and sex?
- What has prompted you to seek a pet at this time?
The following questions help us determine the exercise needs of your pets as some pets are more active than others.
- Is anyone in the household allergic to pets? If so, you will want to find a hypoallergenic pet.
- Does anyone in the family have special needs?
- Is your household hectic, moderately busy or calm and quiet?
- Where do you live? (Apartment vs. house; city vs. country).
- What is the size of your yard?
Management and responsibilities:
These questions should be discussed with the entire family so that it is clear who is responsible for the care of the pet. It is unreasonable to expect your children to perform these daily tasks reliably.
- Where will your pet spend most of its time? (inside or outside)
- How long will your pet be left alone during the day?
- Where will your pet be kept when you are not at home?
- Who is responsible for feeding and caring for the pet?
- How much are you willing to pay for your pet?
- Are you planning on spaying or neutering your pet?
- How much are you budgeting for monthly pet food?
- How much are you budgeting annually for your pet’s medical care?
- Where are you planning on acquiring your pet? (Breeder, animal shelter, rescue, pet store)
- Do you prefer a long or short haired pet? Long haired pets will require daily brushing and possibly professional grooming.
- What is the purpose of obtaining a pet? (guard dog, companion, therapy dog)
- What size dog do you prefer?
As you can see, there are many personal and household specific considerations to choosing the perfect pet. It is never a good idea to give some a pet as a gift. It is important to make an informed decision when obtaining a new pet as your perfect pet will be a member of your family for the next 10-15 years. The staff at Guthrie Pet Hospital is here to help with your pet selection.