Dogs. Cats. Fish. Ferrets. Birds. Snakes. Tarantulas. Chickens. With so many pet choices, choosing a pet can be a daunting task. There are so many different types of animals out there and the care required for each is different. Students in the Globe University veterinary technology program understand the dilemma many families face when choosing a pet, so they coordinated and hosted the campus’ first ever Pet Fair. Students applied the client education knowledge they gained throughout their program to educate the public about each animal at the Pet Fair and the care involved for each.
When deciding what type of pet is best for you and your family, the following five important factors can help ensure you make a wise decision:
- Lifestyle. Before you go out and get a yellow lab because you think they are so cute and wonderful, consider your living arrangements. Do you live in an apartment, a condo, a house with acres of land? Some animals require more room to grow and get their daily exercise. Other pets have their own schedule you should consider. “Hedgehogs are nocturnal creatures that are awake all night,” said student Julia Rodenberg. “They are not for people that want an animal to view or play with during the day.”
- Activity Level. What is you and your family’s activity level? Do you enjoy going for walks or are you more homebodies who enjoy chilling in front of the television? If you are less active you should get a pet that is less active and doesn’t require daily walks.
- Time. How much time do you have to spend with your pet? If you tend to travel often for your job or just for pleasure, a gold fish or possibly a snake might be a good pet. Keep in mind that some animals like dogs, cats, and ferrets need daily attention from their owners. Student Donna Larsen shared, “Dogs take a lot of time and commitment. Each breed has different specific needs, so make sure to find a dog that works for you and your family.”
- Age. This goes two ways – the age of you and your family members and the age of your pet. Do you have young children? Consider how your pet reacts to small children and how your child reacts to various animals. Perhaps getting a small dog right now isn’t the best decision. How long will your pet live? Are you willing to commit to taking care of a dog for the next 17 years? Also, if you are adopting an older animal keep in mind that they may have their own routine established already and it may be difficult for them to adjust.
- Cost. Pets cost money. There are the initial adoption costs, but also the cost of their leashes, collars, crate or carrier, and toys—not to mention food and treats. These costs can add up quickly and when you add in any vet care or grooming costs your pet needs, it can put a sizable dent in any family budget.
These factors can help you choose the best pet for you and your family. Just remember to take your time and don’t rush the process. There are a variety of animals out there and the care each requires is going to vary considerably.