2001-Thu Jan 19 12:24:09 MST 2017
Vetstreet. All rights reserved.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
As an animal trainer, I work with prospective pet parents in a variety of settings, including animal
shelters and private preadoption consultations. In every situation, my goal is the same: to help people identify their ideal animal companions. Careful planning and assessment are essential prior to adding a
new dog or cat to your family, regardless of whether the animal is the first pet in your home or the household already has numerous furry residents.
If you are considering a new pet, there are some important factors to consider before you commit.
Dogs and cats give us far more than we can give them when it comes to love and devotion. But it's important to be aware of the cost of adding a pet to your family — in terms of both money and time.
Pets require a substantial financial commitment; the shelter adoption fee or breeder cost is only the beginning of this investment. Ongoing
costs include veterinary care (one or two wellness exams per year, plus surgery, medication and treatment as necessary), boarding, training, grooming, food, toys, bedding, containment options and other essentials. As you choose your new pet, think carefully about available resources. Breeds with genetic predispositions to certain health issues, for example, or giant breeds may be more likely to incur significant medical expenses than other breeds. Pet insurance is one possible way to offset costs over the long run and provide care even if the unexpected does occur, but that is another additional cost.
Money isn't the only issue, though. A pet requires a big time commitment, too. Cats may be stereotyped as antisocial and independent, but many felines need significant amounts of attention and interaction. Dogs also require ongoing quality time. Potential pet owners who work long hours outside the home, travel frequently or are consistently unavailable for long periods of the day or week will need to explore alternative options, like a pet sitter,
doggie daycare or a
dog walker, before committing to a new pet. If your current schedule makes it difficult to commit to caring for a pet, then it makes sense to postpone bringing a new cat or dog home.
Finally, it is important to be aware that younger animals may require a greater commitment of both time and money than older pets.
kittens need time-consuming socialization and training; in addition, you will most likely need to pay for initial vaccinations and
neuter surgery. Younger animals typically have more energy than older pets and will have more to learn, like house training and good manners (although older pets may need to be reminded, too). These factors should be weighed carefully when you're deciding if a younger or older pet will best fit into your home.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Get all the best pet news and information sent right to your inbox!
Thank you for subscribing!
Want to choose the best food for your
pet? Here's why you shouldn't fear
preservatives or fall for marketing…
Electronic cigarettes may be growing in
popularity, but their higher concentrations
of nicotine can poison cats and…
Are you handling your pet the right way?
Our vet shares five things your pup wishes
you knew about picking him up.
We combed through 505,270 kitten
names to determine the hottest male
and female monikers of the year.
We scoured our database of 1.1 million
dogs to find out which male and female
monikers reigned supreme this past…
The laid-back American Wirehair’s crimped, coarse coat requires almost no brushing or combing.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.