* I’ve decided to expand this blog a bit and put to use some things I learned at school that I think can be helpful.
These days my husband and I can’t imagine our lives without our little hell-raiser, Sammy (pictured above, don’t let that face fool you). But before that it took a while before we decided it was the right time.
The thing about pets is that you have to be ready for them – that’s the most important thing. And by ready I mean have enough time, energy, willingness and finances because you’re taking in a new family member for the next 12-18 years (species dependent).
Discover what animal is best for you – if you have a preference that’s good and you should only take an animal you really want, but you should take into account things like cats are much more independent than dogs, that ferrets need endless amounts of sleep and birds might be tricky for beginners, so maybe look for a pet that suits your lifestyle best.
Do your research – you’ve decided on a specific animal. Great! now go do as much research as you can if the species is new to you so as to know EXACTLY what you’re getting into. For instance, if you take into account that taking a puppy will mean chewed furniture for the next 6 months you’ll still be super annoyed when you come home and realize there’s no salvaging those new shoes (or passport, or 100 euros), but at least you were ready for it, and that will make it less likely for you to want to return your pet. Because pets are not commodities, they are living, breathing, feeling beings. Would you “return” your baby?
Decided on an animal, researched it, next prepare the surroundings – SHOPPING!!! this is a whole new reason to buy cute things – a bed/cage, food bowls, leash, collar, food. Go into the store, consult sales clerks but don’t go crazy – buy the essentials and then customize along the way as you get to know your pet.
Go get your pet! – take everyone and choose together, whether it’s on the
internet, the pound or adoption days, make sure everyone is on the same page. By choosing a pet together you’re engaged and part of the process. I know making it a surprise or getting someone a present is tempting but statistics show that the majority of those presents end up in shelters because the recipients weren’t ready for them.
So I think we’ve gone over the important things. Next time we’ll explore the options of where to get your new pet.
Kitten image courtesy of Carlos Porto @ FreeDigitalPhotos.net