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Pets are easily the greatest addition to a family, but are you ready for one? A pet is something to grow with you and your family, not something to be cast off when it gets too big or you no longer have the desire for it. Hundreds of animals end up in shelters because the owners don't want it anymore, or it wasn't what they thought, they didn't know it would get that big, and tons of other excuses. So before you adopt or buy a new pet, do your research on it so you can make sure it is actually something you really want and won't take back two weeks later. Go through your home, do you have room for a four-legged addition? The most common is dogs, everybody wants a cute little puppy but nobody wants a dog. They take time to train, lots of food, and require room to run/play! Dogs vary from tiny little Chihuahuas to huge Great Danes. Each one has tailored needs, and it takes a lot of responsibility. Cats have to be the biggest one, kittens are so cute and tiny, but once they grow up a lot of people don't think they are the cutest thing. Once cats go into a shelter as an adult it is highly certain that they will not be adopted. So before you make the big decision to get a new pet, make sure you are ready for it. Here are some basic key tips to remember before inviting the new addition in!
A huge part of getting a new pet is housing, whether it be a dog, cat, hamster, even a fish, they all require housing. It is important for the animal to have a space of its own. If it doesn't, it becomes completely dependent on its owners, which can cause a lot of problems in the future. Make sure you have adequate accommodations for your new pet. It is trusting you to take care of it like a child. This includes feeding, watering, bathing, and literally every part of their life. With all that being said, that means you take on a huge task, being able to do all of that for them without neglect. So before you bring home that super cute puppy or kitten, make sure you have their separate home ready for them!
Another factor to consider is food and water. Although dogs are all the same species, a lot of them eat entirely different. Big dogs can handle more, smaller dogs tend to have a complex system, allowing them to only eat certain things. Also, animals are similar to people, they can develop allergies and inabilities to have certain things. This presents a situation where you may be paying more than average for food that is healthy and safe for them. As does every living thing, your pet must have access to constant clean water. They will die without it, and stagnant (sitting without cleaning) water can cause medical issues from parasites. Many pet owners use automatic watering devices and feeders. With these, you just have to make sure it is cleaned regularly.
Okay, so we have discussed the big topics, food, water, and shelter. Now comes the parts that you might not think about as often. When you get a new pet, it is smart to get their shots, and if you see fit, neutering. Vet bills can run extremely high, just as a person can run up a medical bill, animals can do the same thing. It often is unexpected but it is something you have to think about when getting a new pet. Just like you have to think about all the financial decisions before having a baby, well a new pet is like a new baby. They can be extremely expensive. So as the saying goes, make sure you are ready for it!
Overall, a pet needs love, a lot of love. They have to trust you completely and build a bond with you. They will love you forever, be the friend you always needed and will show you compassion unlike any human. Along with all we do for them, they do just as much for us. However, what they do isn't always physical. They can be the greatest companion you have in life. They teach us a whole new meaning of unconditional love. It is very heartbreaking to see abandoned animals because it was harder than they thought it would be. They aren't cheap, they aren't easy, and they aren't disposable. If you make the commitment to get a new pet, make sure that you can really love this pet for the remainder of its life. And after reading this, if you think maybe it would be a little too difficult then I personally suggest holding off until you are confident that you can provide the best life for them. They deserve it!