Finding the Best Pet for You

According to the American Pet Products Association 2013-2014 National Pet Owners Survey, 68% of U.S. households own at least one pet. Dogs and cats remain the most popular types of pets, with freshwater fish, bird and small animals as the next popular pets, respectively. If your family is part of this percentage, you already know the unlimited joys of having a pal in your family. And, if you’re thinking about adding a new pal or an additional pal to your family, below are a few points to take into consideration.

1)   Match your pet to your lifestyle and personality: Are you a night owl or an early riser? Some pets like ferrets, hamsters and sugar gliders spend much of the day asleep and are more active at night. Keep this in mind, especially if your pet’s cage is in your bedroom. How about your work schedule? Do you work long hours or do you travel often? If so, a more self-sufficient pet like a cat might be the better choice for your lifestyle. Don’t forget about the kids either. If you have kids, pets can be a great way to help them learn responsibility. Just make sure they are able to provide for the pet (i.e. play and activity, fresh water, a clean place to play, sleep and relax etc.) when you’re not there to do it first.

2)   Match your pet to life at home: Do you have a big backyard with lots of shade and an enclosed fence that’s perfect for Fido or even an indoor/outdoor cat? Or do you live in apartment where pets, besides fish, aren’t allowed? In either case, it’s important to remember your home environment will also be your pet’s home environment and their needs should be taken into consideration.

3)   Consider an animal’s lifespan: It may seem like an unnatural thought and question to ask yourself when adding a pet to your family, but being realistic about the life expectancy of your pet can help you both be happier together. We all know pets become a part of our families immediately, and it can be a traumatic experience when they pass (especially for children). While dogs, cats, and birds can live more than 10 years, other pets like small animals may only live two or three years. However, tortoises and goldfish have been known to have lifespans that rival our own.

4)   Cost: Just like children, pets require financial responsibility. Before any pet joins your family, outline a yearly budget of what it will cost to give your pet the best life possible. This should include the cost of food, shelter and veterinarian bills. Keep in mind as your pet ages, just like us, their health will most likely become more volatile and the cost of keeping them healthy may rise.

No matter your choice, we encourage you to share the joys of owning a pal through our Facebook page.





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14 Responses to Finding the Best Pet for You

  1. Iris K says:

    Thank you for this post! I have been contemplating getting a pet with my partner in the next couple years coming (specifically a dog). My partners work schedule is the main reason we are not sure as he works 60 hours a week, so his leisure time is mostly spent out of the house. However my schedule is quite easy going. Cost of course is another factor, my partner’s family’s current dog unfortunately has fallen sick and requires various costly treatments.

  2. Simon Orchard says:

    Great read! My girlfriend and I are very keen to purchase a pet (most likely a dog) and your post has shed plenty of light on the various factors that need to be considered before making such an important life decision. We have travelled a lot in the last few years but both feel it’s about time to settle down and enjoy the companionship a dog can bring to our lives.

  3. Anna says:

    Thanks for this post! My dog is a border collie, which is a breed that requires a particularly large amount exercise. This is well suited to me because I am a pretty active and outdoorsy person. A friend of mine is looking into buying a dog and asked for my advice, but after reading this I can see that her lifestyle is not really suited to a dog- she spends most of her days at work. Perhaps I should suggest a goldfish instead.

  4. Sarah says:

    I found this post very helpful, thank you! I have wanted a pet of my own for a long time now! I found these points very helpful in finding the right pet for both my lifestyle and personality. I have no work schedule and tend to spend most of my time at home, whether studying or lazing around in my free time. I have quite a large backyard that is fenced and has a large patio area for shelter. I am also quite financially stable. Given my circumstances I think a dog would be the most suitable pet for me!

  5. Thank you for this post! I am considering adopting a pet. I am confusing between cat and dog. As a student, my timetable is more day oriented. I have a big yard so it might be great for a dog. Meanwhile a cat might be better for me since I prefer quite and tender accompany, my neighborhood has so many big dogs and they barking all day long, which might not be a perfect place for a cat loving among those giant. Cost is a considerable aspect because I have to pay pet bond for my rental expense if I am going to adopt a pet. Your post really gives me some ideas on deciding whether to get a pet or not. I appreciated.

  6. Scott says:

    Yeah good valid points that everyone considering getting a pet should read! I probably wouldn’t want a pet that would be overly nocturnal but also needs something that can stay at home all day while I’m busy and be ok. Maybe a cat or small dog could fit my lifestyle! Great post.

  7. Kelsey P says:

    My family has been looking to get a new pet for a while now, but we’re a little undecided what to go for.
    After reading this we’ll definitely have to take into account the limited backyard space we’re going to have when we move house in a couple of months; wouldn’t be fair to confine a big dog in such a small area.
    I’d love to get a Sugar Glider but I don’t think they’re legal to keep as a pet in Australia, might have to go for something like a rabbit instead.
    Thanks for the tips!

  8. David Woods says:

    This is great information. Thank you for publishing this.

  9. Scott says:

    Great post! Has some relevant points that should be considered by all prospective pet owners including myself as a university student. Cost and lifespan are particularly important and probably aren’t considered enough by those who are just wanting a furry companion without serious consideration. Thanks!

  10. Anouka says:

    What a great post – I have been thinking about getting a pet for some time now, and while it is easy to remember the financial responsibility that goes with having a pet I never gave it too much thought as to how my lifestyle (such as sleeping and working patterns) could affect my decision so much! I have really been leaning towards a dog because I grew up with them all my life, but reading your blog I will be giving it second thought now considering my full-time study and hectic work schedule.
    Thanks for drawing my attention to the little details that I would not have fully considered!

  11. Daniella Lupi Balan says:

    Good job on the post. I think its important that pet owners think through on the consequences their lifestyles may have on their pets should they not take things like compatibility into account. You did a good job translating and explaining this. Keep up the good work.

  12. Jonathan Philip says:

    This is a helpful post i have learnt lots about animals now.

  13. Annum Salman says:

    This was a very helpful post! I’ve had a dog since I was a kid so I know exactly how it feels to have a pet around. However, I completely agree that not everyone can take on a responsibility as great as that. When we lived in a smaller house, our dog was actually smaller in size. We had a Russian Samoyed then that needed little space. When we moved to a bigger house, we got a bigger dog; A golden Labrador. We had a bigger backyard so it made it a lot easier. Also, having a pet really does depend on what kind of a lifestyle you have. My family hardly ever travelled much so someone was always there to make sure our dog was fed properly and taken care of. Like humans pets even have feelings. It is necessary to give them time. This is why it is encouraged that households with children should get pets as it would teach kids to be responsible and the pet won’t even feel neglected.

  14. Pet Care says:

    Great post! Been reading a lot about what kind of dog i should get. Thanks for all the thoughts here!

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