Pets bring happiness, love, and companionship to their owners. But they also require a lot of care and responsibility. Some pets require more work than others, and some pets need more space. Researching which pet best fits your needs and capabilities is an important first step in pet ownership. Preparing for a pet makes adopting your pet more enjoyable and increases the chances of a successful adoption.

Which pet is best for you?

Dogs, cats, and fish are among the most popular pet choices. Dogs probably require more care than any other pet, but return the favour with a lot of love and affection. No matter which breed you choose, it will need daily exercise and playtime. You’ll also need to set aside time for training. If you enjoy going on walks or have children who enjoy playing in the yard, then a dog could be a good fit.

Cats are popular because they’re more independent. They seek companionship when they’re in the mood for it; they may want to play one day but ignore you the next day. Beware that people are allergic to cats more often than any other pet, so before you adopt one, try petsitting a friend’s cat for the weekend. Symptoms of an allergy include red eyes, itchy skin, and sniffling.

Guinea pigs are cuddly and affectionate creatures that enjoy being held and are unlikely to bite you. When they spot their owners, some make a whistle to show their excitement and say hello. Unlike hamsters, guinea pigs are awake for most of the day. If you’re social and enjoy spending a lot of time with your pet, a guinea pig could be a perfect match. They do require exercise and stimulation, so you’ll need to let them out of their cages frequently.

Hamsters are entertaining to watch. They enjoy running on wheels and navigating mazes. They are nocturnal and have a delicate body, so if they’re mishandled, they may nip you. Of course, there are plenty of other options when choosing a pet, including birds, lizards, snakes, fish, turtles, chinchillas, rats, and more.

Is your home prepped for a pet?

When you decide which pet is best for you, prepare your home before you bring home your new friend. Find out what you’ll need to properly care for your pet, and purchase these items. Buy leashes, collars, food, cages, toys, and anything else required to care for your pet. You should also find a vet before you bring your pet home.

Try to plan the arrival of your pet at the start of the weekend or when you can be home for a few days. This allows you to spend extra time with your pet in the beginning when your pet is more likely to be nervous or scared in its new surroundings. You need the extra time to get to know each other and spend some quality time together.

Are you bonding with your pet?

Bonding with your pet is important, especially if you rescue or adopt from a shelter or foster home. Building a bond creates trust. If your animal is especially timid, feeding your pet from your hand can help show that good things come from you and that you’re trustworthy.

Playing with your pet and showing affection also strengthen your bond. If you have an assistance animal, such as an animal to assist you with poor eyesight or recovery from addiction, bonding is similar. You’ll want to take care of the pet as much as you can (walks, feedings, grooming, etc.), as the dog will gravitate and bond most with its caretaker.

Adding a pet to your life is an important decision. As such, you should take the time to ensure you choose the best pet for your circumstances, lifestyle, and preferences. Adopting a pet is a lot of responsibility, but it can be rewarding and enjoyable. Successful pet ownership can bring years of unconditional love and companionship.

Photo Credit: pikabum, Pixabay

This story is a guest submission and does not reflect the views of Dogs Monthly Magazine, always consult a qualified expert.


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