So, you’ve decided to welcome a new addition to your family – congratulations! There are so many options when it comes to family pets these days. So, let’s look at how to choose the perfect pet for your family.
Time to have a family meeting
The first step is to hold a family meeting where each family member contributes. Write down all of the pets which excite each of you, including breeds too. Fantastic, step 1 is complete.
Now it’s time to consider your personality, and lifestyle match. Be ruthless and cross off anything on your list that isn’t aligned to any one of these factors.
Consider your personalities
Are you a Netflix and chill family? A lap cat or dog or even a little fluffy snuggle bunny or guinea pig may suit. Ask yourself what you want from your pet? A companion? A working animal? Or possibly a show animal?
Does your house always need to look polished and presentable? If so, then a shedding pet, or one that may free roam leaving droppings, is likely not your ideal pet. Entertain the idea of an outdoor pet.
How many family members are going to pay the pet attention and attend to animal husbandry? Will it all fall on to one person? Are you willing to trim a guinea pig’s nails, or clean up doggie business? If the answer is no, look for a lower maintenance pet, like a cat or a reptile.
Do you want a ‘pretty’ pet? Then possibly you won’t like a Chinese crested dog, Cornish Rex or a frilled neck lizard. Sensitive to smell? An indoor pet may not be ideal.
Consider your lifestyle
Have you crossed off some pets from the list? Next consideryour lifestyle. Different types of pets require differing levels of attention and care. If you live in an apartment or small duplex, then a Border Collie wouldn’t be a wise choice, but a budgie or fish could work wonders. Are you looking for an exercise companion or possibly a pet to produce food? Or a pet to keep you company while you’re at home? Consider the lifespan of the animal and ensure you can dedicate that many years to lovingly care for your pet. If you have young kids, an easy going and playful pet is ideal.
Allergies? Look for hypoallergenic pets, possibly a Cornish Rex? Live on acreage? Maybe you’d consider a larger animal like a pony or llamas?Considering chickens or dogs? Look at your backyard space. Is it big enough? Is the fencing adequate? Is there a risk of predators?
Consider how much time you spend at home. Some pets are okay to be left for longer periods at home alone, but some are not and may become anxious or even aggressive.
Do you go away a lot for business or holidays, if yes, you’llneed to factor in a pet sitter, whether it be a friend, neighbour, family or kennel.
What is your budget? Do you want a purebred and are not worried about vet bills, food, boarding and other unexpected expenses? Or do you have a limited budget? It’s wise to calculate the costs annually, for the lifespan of the animal, to ensure the pet you want isn’t going to create financial stress.
So how does your list look? You should be in an excellent position to choose the perfect pet for your family. Now for the fun bit, welcoming home the new member of your family.
Deborah Ricketts from Versatile VA supports Australian smallservice-based businesses, with outsourced marketing (writing and social media) support. (www.versatileva.com.au)