Are you thinking on getting a pet? Have you considered these things?
Getting a pet is one of the most exciting things you can do in life. It means taking on a responsibility and getting tons and tons of love in return. Now, it might seem like a really easy decision (I mean, who doesn’t fall immediately for a cute puppy or a moody cat?), but most of the time, we don’t think about whether we’re in the best situation to give our fluffy friends the life and attention they deserve. Believe me, I didn’t really think about it, and when I adopted my dog it was one of the most difficult challenges I’ve ever faced, mainly because I didn’t think about many things. So, based on my personal experience, here are some things I wished I had in mind before getting my Dasha, so that I could’ve done things differently.
Is that particular species or breed suited for you?
I know it might sound a bit selfish, since it might look as if we were putting our needs first rather than the animal's, but it’s actually the other way around. We had been wanting to adopt a puppy for a while, so when my cousin told us his friend's Husky had just had pups, we fell immediately for the smallest one. Although we love her very much and do our best so she can have the perfect environment and life, this breed is way too big to live in an apartment. We walk her two times a day, and we pay someone to take her for an hour and a half to run and exercise. You really have to consider what kind of home you’re providing for them, and if it’s the right one for their breed. And forget the breed, consider the species: dogs require more attention than cats, who are more independent and can adapt better to smaller homes.
Do you have the time and patience needed?
This one is very important, and it even relates to what kind of pet you’re considering on adopting. In my case, for instance, I didn’t really do the proper research before falling in love with Dasha, and in case you don’t know, the first year of a Huskie's life, they're really (really) restless and playful. The first months were easy since my sister was basically at home all the time, but when we had to leave her alone, she would tear the house down. Time and patience are crucial, mainly during the first year when they’re adapting themselves to your lifestyle. So, if you don’t have either of these, getting a new buddy probably isn’t the best idea right now.
Do you have the money to take care of it?
We tend to believe that the only thing we have to do is feed them, and since that isn’t that expensive, we believe we can take care of them without any problems. However, you have to consider vaccines, and having money to spare in case they get sick and you need to take them to the vet. We can't forget that, like us, they’re living creatures with needs, and in today’s world, things cost money. Again, if you don’t think you have the means to provide for them, you might not be in the right place to adopt a pet.
Do you have other pets?
For those of us who love animals, it’s easy to think that if we already have a pet, a new one won’t make that much of a difference. It might not seem that important, but you have to consider the one you already have before adding a new member to the family. In my case, I know I can’t have another pet because my dog is very jealous and hates when other animals come into our house, even though she’s very friendly when we walk her. It can be solved with training, but we know that it would be really tough and uncomfortable for her even while adapting. Yes, I wish I could adopt all the animals, but it’s not really an option. You really have to ask yourself if your pet can accept a new sibling, and if you have what it takes to take care of more than one pet.
Are you willing to prioritize them before you?
This is probably the most important one. Pets are not for our entertainment or to fill whatever void we might have. They’re a huge responsibility, so getting them is basically accepting that they must always be your number one priority. This includes realizing that even simple things like going on vacation must be planned with your pet in mind.
These are very simple things that we take for granted until we already have our pets with us. It’s not that you’re going to fail if you don’t consider these, but, speaking from personal experience, it’s harder to make things work on the go. I love my dog with all my heart, and I can't imagine not having her with me, but at the same time, I wish I had thought about all of these things beforehand, so that she would’ve come home in a more organized way. We’ve become more conscious towards animals, and these easy five things are essential to give them the life they deserve.
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Photos by @zachallia