Choosing the Perfect Pet Match

Kitten is jumpingIn our opinion, every pet is perfect – from the tiniest of gerbils to the impressive Great Dane. But, not every pet owner or pet family is the best match for the pet in question. That is why assessing lifestyle, available time and finances, the size of your home, and a number of other considerations are so important to finding the right pet.

Your Perfect Pet Companion: 6 Important Considerations

One of the most exciting aspects of pet ownership is choosing the right cat, dog, or pocket pet. If you are like so many wonderful and responsible pet owners we know, you understand the importance of making a thoughtful decision and commitment.

In order to help you with the process, we have come up with some basic considerations to help you narrow down the choices.

  1. Lifespan – Most of us would like our pets to live for as long as we do, but some species tend to have shorter life spans (or longer life spans) than we may be prepared for. For instance, horses typically live up to 30 years, while a house rabbit may live to 6-7. Cats can live to 20 years and dogs, 10-15. And, birds can have an amazing range of 3-60 years, depending on the species. How many years are you hoping to spend with the pet and are you willing to care for him or her through those golden years?
  2. Space requirements – This one seems pretty obvious, but many apartment dwellers make the mistake of adopting a rowdy, high-energy breed only to be disenchanted with the behavioral issues that ensue. If you have several acres and a passion for riding the range, a horse may be the perfect choice. If you have a small space or apartment, perhaps a cat or exotic pet (excluding non-domesticated species), such as a rabbit or parakeet would be the best pal for you. Regardless of pet size and species, all animals need secure, climate-controlled shelter. Do your research to make sure you can provide these requirements for your potential pet.
  3. Cost – Again, the larger the animal, the greater the cost of providing food, shelter, and veterinary care. In some cases, exotic species of birds and pocket pets can also be costly. Doing your research well in advance will help you determine if you can comfortably handle the financial requirements of your new pet.
  4. Personality – Are you the outgoing, on-the-go type or more content with reading a book at home? Your personality can help inform the personality you seek in a pet. For those who love to include their pets in activities like running or hiking, energetic canines are a natural match. Likewise, those who just want a mellow pet who doesn’t require a lot of handling may be interested in a fascinating reptile pal.
  5. Time – Time is a major determining factor in selecting a pet. In many cases, behavioral challenges arise in pets who are neglected or not provided opportunities for socialization. If you work long hours, you may want to choose a pet that doesn’t need as much exercise or interaction. But, keep in mind that all animals require (and deserve) time and attention. Canines present more time demands because they need to be trained and socialized, and also exercised each day.
  6. Children and other pets – If your family includes young children or other family member pets, consider their safety and wellbeing when choosing another pet. Some dog breeds, along with reptiles (who carry salmonella), aren’t appropriate for a family with young children. Other pets, too, may not get along with certain species or even be put in danger.

These are just some of the few imperative considerations to help you determine the right pet match.

Adopting a new pet pal is an exciting time and made even more meaningful with a responsible approach. Good luck!