Are You Ready To Commit To A Pet?

Something I noticed while in university was the amount of people I knew buying and/or adopting pets. I had friends and acquaintances that were acquiring all different types of pets during their years of post-secondary education—cats, dogs, birds, fish, rabbits, hedgehogs and even pot belly pigs.

It can seem quite tempting to run out and get a pet but are you thinking of the commitment that comes along with a pet? Yes, your pet with love you unconditionally and be there for you during all the high and lows in life, but they do require quite a bit of care. Here are a few tips to help you decide if you are ready:

Pets are a financial commitment

Some pets can be low cost and some pets can start at a low cost but steadily cost you a small fortune. Over the years, my dog had been fairly easy maintenance. He is a small dog, so his food intake was small and he rarely had to visit the vet. However, he is almost 15 and now elderly and sick. His medications cost an arm and a leg every month. Like humans, animals get sick regardless of age or lifestyle. Can you afford to shell out the money, as well as time for your pet? This is something that needs to be considered.

Pets are a time commitment

While some pets are said to be “low maintenance” they still need some time committed to them on a daily basis. Feeding, grooming and exercise are just a few things to consider when it comes to the daily care of a pet. If you are constantly traveling or spending more time at school or work then at home, it might be a good idea to hold off getting a pet for the time being. It can become a burden to others if you are constantly asking them to pet-sit your animals while you are away. Maybe when your life becomes more settled would be the prime time to get a pet.

Pets are a long-term commitment

While a pet may fit your lifestyle right now, will they next year? In 5 years? In 10 years? I understand the desire to get a pet, but accepting that animals are a long-term commitment is necessary. Numerous people I know who had pets had to give them up later on down the road because they could no longer care for them. They had that pet while in school but once they graduated and moved to a new city or apartment were unable to take their pet with them. It is a decision no one wants to make, having to part with their beloved pet, either temporarily or permanently. Similar to time commitment, perhaps you should wait until your life is a little less hectic.

So before you go out and adopt a pet, do your research and think about your plans for the future. Look into the type of pet you want, what is required to properly take care of them and if those requirements fit your current lifestyle. There is nothing wrong with delaying getting a pet until your ready, so don’t rush a decision.

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