5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Getting a New Pet

Feb 23, 2018Reading Time: 4 min

Are You Ready?

Are you considering getting a new pet? Whether this is your first pet or one of many since childhood, prepare for the joy and responsibility that accompanies caring for an animal. When you get a new pet, you add a member to your family. Please think about these five concerns before getting a new pet.

1. What kind of pet?

While getting a dog or a cat might be your first thought, you may want to consider other pets. Amphibians, fish, and reptiles all make for wonderful pets with distinct personalities. In some cases, they are lower maintenance to leave under someone else’s care when traveling. It all depends what best fits your lifestyle. Get an allergy test to determine which animals, if any, give you allergic reactions. Check out Facebook groups dedicated to the animal that interests you. You will learn about the pros, cons, and needs of many experienced pet owners online.

2. Can you adopt instead of purchase?

Once you decide on the type of pet you want, please adopt, if possible. Everything from rabbits to cats are in need of adoption. PetFinder.com is a great site with many animals listed for adoption. It looks like a dating site with profiles and photos of each animal. Your adorable new friend is waiting for you to choose them! If you opt for a reptile, fish, or amphibian your adoption options may be more limited. So, if you buy a pet with scales or fins, check out specialty shops, private breeders, and/or a reptile expo.

3. What Food & Pet Supplies do I need?

Research what a healthy diet looks like for your pet. For example, leopard geckos are insectivores, so do not get one if you’re uncomfortable feeding it live bugs. Cat and dog food is labeled so look into your options. Similar to how some human food is more processed than others, the same applies to pet food. Just as important as buying the right food is having the correct pet supplies to provide a fun and comfortable environment. Pet supplies can range in price, so do not be overwhelmed if everything in the store seems really expensive. Search out discount pet supplies online. You will find loads of great deals on Overstock.com, PetMountain.com, and Petco.com that will save you money and keep your pet happy.

4. What Vet Should I use?

Think ahead about the care that a pet requires and find a vet. Please get your first pet exam right away after acquiring your new friend. You will want not only a trusted local vet for pet exams but also a nearby 24-hour emergency pet clinic if you ever need immediate veterinary assistance. Better to be prepared ahead of time when things are calm than to scramble when you’re worried.

5. How should I prepare my home?

Every pet, whether a dog, cat, or lizard needs the proper amount of space dedicated to their habitat. Be sure that your living arrangements will meet their needs. Remove anything potentially unsafe for them. Research what plants, foods, and/or chemicals are dangerous and clear them from your pet’s path. For example, mistletoe is poisonous to cats and tea tree oil must never be ingested by dogs. Puppies and kittens will jump into everything, so tape off potentially hazardous sharp edges. And get those electrical cords out of chewing distance!  

Getting a new pet is an exciting and special time in your life! We hope that these tips and links to good deals will help you maximize your pet preparedness. There is no feeling better than the first time you bring home a new pet. Treat them with love and respect, and you will be met in kind.