Alvina Lopez is a freelance writer and blog junkie, who blogs about accredited online colleges. She has done her BA in Journalism and Mass Communications from Ashford University. She loves to write on pets, health, green living, blogging, technology, finance, education etc. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: alvina.lopez at gmail.com.
Animals can enrich our lives in a way that few other things can. Their loyalty and affection warm our hearts, and their unique personalities continually surprise us; they can cheer us up when we're down and keep us company when we are lonely.
But picking the right pet can sometimes be an unforeseen challenge, and there are situations in which one kind of pet would be inadvisable. How do you choose? With so many options out there, how do you know which is right?
You can start by reviewing the following guide:
Consider Your Space
Your home will be one of the biggest determining factors when choosing a pet. If you live in a small studio apartment, for example, a large dog would not be the best choice, even if your landlord would allow it, simply because the space would be confining for the dog. While cats need room to play, too, you can fill a smaller space with toys to keep them entertained to compensate for the space. The thing to remember is that animals are very active by nature, and the larger the animal, the more space you should have.
Consider Your Health
Most people are aware of any personal allergies before picking a pet, but allergies change over time — sometimes for the worse, sometimes for the better. Regardless of your previous history, you and your family should all be tested for allergies before you decide on a pet. You don't want to bring Fido home only to discover that he makes your daughter or husband break out in hives. Allergy tests are fairly inexpensive, and are nothing next to the cost of a potential allergic reaction disaster down the road. Plus, you never know when you might suddenly be allergic to dogs, or not allergic to dogs for that matter, so get tested.
Consider Your Responsibilities
This is one thing many prospective pet-owners neglect to think about before adopting a pet into their lives. If you are an architect with a lucrative firm, for example, you will probably be working up to 70 hours weeks in some cases, and might not even come home some nights — if this is the case, you should seriously consider your decision about a pet before adopting.
Just because you are busy doesn't mean you can't have a pet, but you should not get a pet that requires a lot of attention like a cat or a dog if you are unable to give them that attention on a regular basis. Long hours and frequent travel are often incompatible work conditions for pets.
Similarly, if commitments outside of work keep you from home, such as visiting family or volunteering, think twice about getting a pet, or least about which kind of pet to get.
Consider Your Family's Capabilities
Almost everyone is capable of taking care of an animal. The great thing about getting a family pet is that if one member of the family works late or has to travel, the other members can help in taking care of the pet. However, the responsibility of caring for an animal should not be left to children or anyone fundamentally incapable of the tasks required to care for the animal.
If you frequently leave town, but have a fifteen year old son who will be staying home during that time, your pet will be in good hands. If, on the other hand, you and your spouse work long hours and you don't have any children, a pet might not be right for you.
Don't Consider Your Prejudices
All too often a family will reject the idea of getting one kind of pet because one person isn't "a cat/dog/fish/hamster/etc person." Animals have the singular ability to change our minds — don't let your notions or previous experiences bar you from adopting a pet. Be open to the reality that every animal is different and can bring new joy to you and your family.