“But Mom – He Followed Me Home”

Adding another member to the family is a big decision. Just because the new member may have four feet or a long scaly tail doesn’t make it a simple one.

94108fd2-337c-43f7-b12c-758b6b039856 (1)Animal shelters often take in animals that were surrendered or abandoned by families who made an impulsive decision to get a pet and then found the situation unworkable. If you are considering getting a pet of any kind, takes some time first to do your homework. Some points to keep in mind:

  • What are your reasons for considering getting a pet? Did you have one as a child? Is your child asking for it? Did a friend’s cat just have kittens? Are you looking for a companion? Are you hoping to teach your child responsibility?
  • What is your lifestyle? Do you travel often? Do you have enough space for the type of pet you are looking to add? Do you work long days and no one else is at home?
  • If you rent, are you allowed to have pets? Are there limits on types or size? Is there an added security deposit?
  • What kind of expenses would be associated with having a pet?
  • Who will do the daily care for the pet?
  • Does anyone in the family have allergies that might be a concern?
  • What is the life expectancy of the type of pet you are interested in?
  • How old are your children? Will it be a safe situation for both the children and the pet?
  • Should you start with a smaller, low maintenance pet first?

The ASPCA (Association for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) cites statistics that there are 70-80 million dogs and 74-96 million cats owned by households in the U.S. In many cases, pets are a wonderful addition to a family and some of your own happiest memories may have been of experiences shared with treasured pets. Adding a pet to your family may be just the right thing to do. Taking some time to make a wise and well-thought out choice is time well spent.