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Choosing a Family Pet

So your little girl has been begging you for a dog. You’re not so sure. You want to choose the right pet for your family, but how do you decide? First, you should start by answering some questions. For instance, who will be the primary caregiver to the pet? If you answered “your kids”, how old are they? And what is your budget for vet bills, food, training, etc.? How many years can you commit to owning your pet? Some other considerations are how much space you have, how much daily time you have to devote to your pet, and how often you travel.

Now that you’ve answered these questions, you’ll be better able to find a pet that is the right fit for your family. Let’s start with man’s best friend, a dog. Dogs require more daily time than most other pets. Most dogs should be walked at least once a day. And if you want a puppy, the time commitment is considerably higher in the first year. If you want to skip the puppy stage, you can always adopt an adult dog from the shelter. A dog will also require more space in your home than most pets.

Our feline friends make wonderful pets and require a lot less daily time than a dog. However most cats are very social creatures and like daily interaction. They also require frequent brushing. Cats can live up to 15 to 20 years, so you need to consider if you’re able to make this kind of commitment.

If you have little space, but want a pet with a lot of interaction, you might consider a bird. Birds love to socialize, and can be trained to be handled by humans. You’ll need to clean its cage and the area around it daily. But other than that, they are fairly low maintenance.

Some small cuddly caged creatures make affectionate and loyal pets. Guinea pigs and hamsters are low maintenance. Rabbits make great lap pets but require daily gentle holding to become acclimated to humans. If you have very little time, money and space, you may want to consider a fish or turtle.

So after all of this analysis, your family decides to get a dog, even though you were against it. What to do? Welcome that new pup into your home with open arms. He might just become your new BFF.

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