Choosing The Right Pet
Before making the decision to get a pet, spend some time determining why you want one and what type of pet would be best for your family.
Match your lifestyle to the right pet for you…
- Think about things that are important in your life now.
- How physically active are you…really?
- Do you want your pet to be a part of an active life-style? or A couch potato? Somewhere in-between?
- Do you or any household member have allergies to pets?
- How settled is your life? Are you expecting major life-style changes over the next several years?
- Many pets live for years. A pet that fits into your life-style today needs to fit in tomorrow.
Time is precious in our lives
- Do you have much free time now?
- How much time do you have EVERY DAY to spend taking care of a pet?
(feeding, grooming, exercising, training and socializing)
- Will there be someone at home to give the animal lots of attention and love?
All pets need to live indoors and be part of the family
- Is your home appropriate for your new pet?
- Do you have enough space for the type of pet you are thinking about?
All pets make some kind of mess
- Will your pet be given free range of your entire home or just certain sections?
- How happy would a pet be in this space?
Purebred vs. mixed breed?
- Being “purebred” only means the animal’s breeder sent in a standardized form to the American Kennel Club (AKC) for dogs or one of several national registries for cats. This registration only states that the animal was bred from two other previously registered animals of the same breed and does not ensure the quality of an animal. Overbreeding has led to temperament and/or genetic problems within certain breeds. If you are going to get a purebred animal, educate yourself about the breed and find a reputable breeder.
Whether you choose a purebred or mixed breed animal, you must learn about the breed itself. How a particular animal will act, look, and what it’s going to take to care for it are essential things to know in deciding whether this is the right pet for you. If it is a mixed breed, investigate each breed in the combination if known.
After an animal is spayed or neutered, there are few behavioral differences between males or females. Opinions vary as to which sex has the gentler nature. Most “experts” agree to look to the individual animal or breed versus listening to generalities of gender.
The above tips are excerpts from the booklet “Choosing A Pet” produced by The Humane Society for Seattle/King County.