Is there anything more exciting than welcoming a new addition to your family? We are as delighted as you are when we receive a phone call to schedule an appointment for a new furry family member. While you can’t choose your human family members, you can pick out the perfect pet for your family. Before making such an impactful decision, ask yourself and your family the following questions.

#1: What species is my favorite type of pet?

If you are a cat lady for life, or a strict dog lover only, choose only your favorite species. However, if lizards, snakes, fish, birds, rodents, and small mammals capture your heart as well, do some serious soul-searching to determine your favorite species. If you simply can’t choose between furry, feathery, scaly, or finned, answer the remaining questions to narrow down your preferences. 

#2: How much time can I commit to a pet?

An energetic pup obviously requires much bigger time commitment than a goldfish. Depending on your family’s schedule and lifestyle, you may need a pet who doesn’t require much attention, such as a fish or reptile. But, if you have plenty of free time and are looking for a constant companion, a dog or cat would be an excellent fit.

#3: How active a pet would I like?

If you love nothing more than curling up on the couch with a good book, a young border collie is probably not a good fit. Older cats or dogs are often more mellow and laid-back and may snuggle with you, while lizards, snakes, and fish don’t require daily exercise. On the other hand, if you are hiking a new trail every weekend, an adventurous pup may be right up your alley.

#4: Can I afford the care my desired pet will require?

While reptiles and saltwater fish require specialized habitats that can be pricey, some species, especially rodents, are content with a simple enclosure, bedding, food, and toys. A good guideline is that larger pets have larger bills, so your Great Dane is going to cost more than your tiny Chihuahua. 

#5: What temperament would I like in my pet?

When choosing a pet, consider the personality you’d prefer. Do you want a pet who is glued to your side, eager to be part of every aspect of your life, or would you prefer a more aloof and independent pet? If you are considering a canine companion, take this fun quiz from Animal Planet to see which breed is right for you.

#6: Would I prefer a young or older pet?

Young cats and dogs require training and socialization, while older pets are often already trained and housebroken. If you’re looking at a little different animal, consider your potential pet’s lifespan. Many turtle and bird species can live for well over 50 years, while small rodents have a much shorter lifespan.

#7: Who will care for a pet in my family?

Decide who will be the main pet caretaker in your family. If the burden falls on you, can you handle daily litter-box scooping, frequent dog walks, or routine cleaning of the turtle tank? If the pet is to be your children’s, ensure they are capable of the necessary care. 

#8: Do I have the necessary space for a pet?

Although Clifford the Big Red Dog was well-loved, despite vastly outgrowing his family’s home, you may not be able to provide such a lifestyle for a giant pet. Consider your available space before bringing home a pet who needs lots of room, or will outgrow your home. 

#9: Can I provide the proper exercise for a pet?

High-energy working or sporting dogs need daily mental and physical activity, or they will quickly turn to destructive behaviors. If you cannot provide appropriate exercise for a pet who is driven to work hard, consider one who is more low-maintenance.

#10: What is my ultimate desire in getting a pet?

When choosing a pet, understand why you want to add to your family. Do you want a protector, a pet to show in obedience trials, a working dog, or a pet whose sole purpose is companionship? 

If you need help choosing the perfect pet for your family, give us a call. Then, once you’ve chosen your new addition, we’d love to have her visit and be the first to welcome her.