22 November, 2021
Some families are pet families, and some are not. One way or the other, pets are a part of some families throughout. In many families, kids convince elders about having pets, and in a few others, the elders need no convincing. No doubt, having pets at home has its advantages. They become a part of your family and a beloved companion. But, most importantly, they listen to you, are non-judgmental, and love unconditionally. They could accompany you for walks and be your favourite destress option.
However, having a pet at home is not as easy as it looks from the outside. It is a commitment that needs a lot of thought from your side. There are many reasons for one to consider bringing a pet home. Equally, there are also reasons why one should think it through before actually getting a pet home. There are occasions when old parents have given up pets for adoption when their children leave home. It just indicates that pets need as much care and commitment that all may not be able to provide. Even your homes need some extra care when you have pets around, not just them. Here are some pointers that you could consider before getting a pet home.
Should I get a pet?
The answer to this question is highly individualistic and depends a lot on you and your circumstances. The first thing to consider is if you are a pet person. Have you had pets at home earlier, or have you at least been used to having pets around? Another aspect could be how active or healthy you are. Pets need care and time. For example, dogs need to be taken for walks every day, and they need some time out to play. Cats will have to be home-trained, and you would need to clean their boxes to avoid the unsavoury smell. Aquariums need periodic cleaning to keep away the odour and to keep the fish healthy. Even if you have a birdcage, it needs regular maintenance.
Hence, your health and mobility are also main considerations before bringing a pet home, unless you have help to manage them. There is also a chance that you may be allergic to pets or pet hair. Hence, it is good to have had some prior experience in having pets.
Another issue you may want to check out is the legality or the permission aspect. Some housing communities and apartments have rules and regulations about pets. It is good to know if you are allowed to keep pets and which ones, etc. Also, some pets, like big dogs, need a lot of space, while others may have special needs. In case you travel periodically, then that is another aspect you need to consider. You will have to find some homes for them in your absence or take them along. While dogs and cats are allowed on certain travel and stay options, you may have difficulties finding pet-friendly options. Also, fishes and birds are not something that you will be able to carry along.
There is also a financial implication to maintaining a pet. Dogs and cats have immunization and feeding needs. Fishes have specific feeds, and the same is the case with birds. Some of these pets have high-maintenance pets, and at times, may also need medical attention. Hence, before bringing a pet home, the financial aspect needs some careful consideration. These considerations need discussions with other family members before making a decision.
Which pet should I get?
Despite the above considerations, if you are getting a pet home, it is well and good. The benefits of having a pet at home, perhaps, does far outweigh the issues that are manageable for most. Which pet you should get may depend on your being a dog person or a cat person. It may also depend on your need, and maybe you just want to keep looking at pets like fish and birds.
Dogs: They say it is man’s best friend and the most loyal. If you are healthy and mobile, having a dog may be a good option. You will get out of the house twice a day at least to walk the dog. It could also foster some social habits in you, and you make some friendships during these walks. Having dogs also forces you to maintain a regular schedule to get up, have food, etc. They are great companions and can be therapeutic.
Cats: Cats are good if you don’t want to move out of the house every day. They are housebound and respond well to love. They make good companions, and petting them may be all the destressing you need. They are playful and easier to handle than dogs because of their size.
Fish: Perhaps, these are the easiest of the pets that one could choose to have. All you need to do is choose an aquarium that suits your space and buy one or two fish for it. They don’t need too much attention or feeding, even though the aquariums need to be maintained. It is also easy to find some homes for them, in case you travel. Many people have glass bowls for fish. These are convenient to move to a neighbour, family member, or friend. It is also easier to care in your absence as compared to a dog or a cat.
Birds: Birds bring colour and constant chirping into your homes. If you enjoy that, perhaps a little birdcage on the balcony suits you. There are many varieties available in pet shops. You need to understand what care each breed needs before getting them home.
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