Considerations When Buying a Pet

Considering buying a pet? Pets can be a positive addition to the home of an elderly parent. Pets have positive, mood-boosting benefits, offer a sense of unconditional love, and bring new sounds, a feeling of life, and movement to a home.

Caring for a pet can offer opportunities to provide care, love, and protection for an animal that isn't able to take care of itself. Studies show that they can be health benefits from interacting with pets, such as lower blood pressure, lower stress levels, less boredom, an increase in social interaction, and an opportunity for increasing daily exercise.

First you should be sure that you are in a good physical condition so that you can give your pet the care it needs. If you adopt a dog, make sure you are up for walking a dog multiple times a day. If you get a cat, make sure you can take care of the litter box and buy supplies from the store, such as bags of cat food and litter. If you have fish, you will need to be able to change the water in the tank, and clean it regularly.

When considering the cost of a new pet, think about the initial costs and then ongoing costs. Your pet will need veterinary attention, so plan accordingly for these visits and any medication needed for the pet.

Dogs are a good fit for an active lifestyle, since dogs need to be walked outside at least two times a day. Larger dogs will need plenty of exercise. Find out the level of exercise that various breeds need and choose a dog that fits the level of activity that you are comfortable with. You will need to be willing to walk the dog outside during bad weather, including rainy days, snowy days, hot weather and cold. Larger dogs may pull on the leash, so be sure you can handle the size of the dog.

Cats require regular food and water replenishment plus some playtime activity. Since cats use a litter box, they don't need to be taken outside like dogs do. Cats do require daily physical activity to stay healthy.

Birds are low-maintenance pets that can live in a cage. Birds need time and the space to fly around the house. You will need to clean droppings from the bird’s cage each day and provide regular food and water. Research the various types of birds to learn what level and type of play activity they will need.

Fish are low-maintenance pets and need daily feeding, proper lighting, proper water temperature and water quality. Fish tanks require regular cleaning and maintenance. Saltwater fish are more difficult to care for.

When deciding on a pet, talk to friends and family for advice. Go to local pet stores and adoption centers for additional information and suggestions on other possible types of pets. Once you take the time to make a careful, informed decision, you will find pet ownership to be very rewarding!