Animals can be great friends and companion's whether it is a cat, dog, fish, or hamster. However, there are many factors you need to take into consideration when choosing the right pet for you, and the vets at our Ypsilanti animal hospital discuss them with you today.
Adopting a New Pet
Animals are one of the best aspects of life and our pets often become another cherished and loved member of the family. However, different kinds of animals each have their own challenges and requirements for care but, they all share one common trait: they depend on you for survival. So when you are considering getting a pet you need to carefully think about your decision and make sure you have everything you need to properly care for your new companion.
Things to Keep in Mind
The first thing you have to take into consideration when deciding on a pet is if it will be able to meet the needs of your lifestyle. For example, if you are gone for most of the day, a dog might not be the best selection because they need a lot of attention, bathroom breaks, and walks. Instead, you might want to consider a cat that is able to hang around alone for 8-10 hours a day. A few other questions you should ask yourself are:
- Am I financially able to care for the pet I'm choosing? All pets come with a cost commitment, but some are more expensive than others. For example, a dog's vet bills are likley to be a lot higher than the cost of a small goldfish tank and fish food.
- What is a good match for my personality? If you're outgoing and extroverted a dog could be a great pet because they tend to be fairly outgoing themselves. If you're an introvert you might prefer a more quiet companion such as a cat or rabbit.
- Do I have allergies? If being around pet fur makes you sneeze, a reptile might make a more suitable pet.
- Can I handle the care requirements? Every pet has different needs and ways to accomplish their care. Dogs require a large time commitment but cats need to have their litter boxes changed, hamsters and guinea pigs need their cages cleaned regularly, and reptiles might require a diet that makes some people squeamish (like bugs and mice). Make sure you're committed to the care requirements of whatever pet you choose.
It's not always easy to choose a pet because it's more than just checking off a few mental boxes. You might think a dog would be the perfect pet for you, but it turns out a bird or rabbit is your animal soulmate. You need to have an open mind and do your research so you will end up with the perfect pet for you and your family.
If You are Considering a Dog
Choosing a dog starts with considering a breed that will suit your home and lifestyle. Do some research about the breed's general temperament (but remember that all animals have their own personalities as well). Some dogs are calm and content to sit at your feet all day while others can be bold and boisterous. Size should factor in as well. If you live in a small apartment a smaller dog is probably a better choice. Large dogs need ample room to run and exercise.
Care requirements to consider: Registering with a license, training, taking them out on walks, and providing the proper food, grooming, and veterinarian care.
If You are Considering a Cat
A cat could be an amazing pet. They are generally playful and affectionate - but keep in mind, like dogs, they each have their own unique personality. Cats are fairly low-maintenance pets once they become fully grown. Cats, however, often scratch and sometimes ruin furniture, so you will need to keep their nails trimmed and make sure they have scratching posts to help with this problem.
Care requirements to consider: Changing their litter box, providing proper food and stimulation (scratching posts, toys), nail trims, and veterinarian care.
If You are Considering a Bird
If you're keen on having a pet bird, choose carefully-some are more suited to human companions than others. Budgies are a popular choice because they can be quite affectionate and enjoy handling while cockatiels can be trained to talk and even perform tricks. Keep your bird's cage clean and replenish them with food and water bowls daily. The cage should suit your birds' adult size-they need to be able to flap their wings without touching the sides of the cage.
Care requirements to consider: Noise, cleaning the cage, commitment to ownership (some birds can live to be 100 years old), and veterinarian care.
If You are Considering a Fish
While fish aren't a pet you can cuddle, they can be very beautiful to look at as they swim around their tank. They also need less care than some other pets. Care requirements can vary depending on the species of fish however the main factor you have to consider when getting a fish is that you need to make sure their tank is clean. Some fish are predatory towards others so if you're considering getting multiple fish you have to do your research and talk with the pet store employees to get more information on which types of fish get along well.
Care requirements to consider: Proper nutrition, tank cleaning.
If You are Considering a Rabbit
Rabbits can be quite affectionate and intelligent. They are also social creatures and thrive when they have a companion rabbit rather than being on their own (just be sure to get two females or two males to avoid a situation where you have more pet rabbits than you'd like). Proper care for rabbits includes access to a litter box, a food bowl and water bottle, and clean bedding. Bedding should be made of non-toxic materials like recycled newspaper or aspen wood.
Care requirements to consider: Cleaning their cage regularly (including changing their bedding), companionship, proper nutrition, supervision at all times when they are outside of their cage.
If You are Considering a Hamster or Guinea Pig
Hamsters and guinea pigs are small animals that can make a great companion for older children because they are happy to be handled if they have been socialized from a young age. They also love to be gently snuggled. Both animals require cages and bedding with proper access to clean water and food. And like most pets, they also need to have toys and accessories-such as tunnels, chew toys, and wheels to stimulate their minds. Guinea pigs require a larger, roomier cage than hamsters, and their cages should be cleaned every day. Other than the cleaning requirements, however, these are fairly low-maintenance pet options.
Care requirements to consider: Regular cage cleaning (including clean bedding), proper nutrition.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.