New Pet

How to find the right pet for you

If you've been thinking of getting a new pet but you aren't sure what type of animal best suits your personality, you're not alone. Choosing a pet involves careful consideration of a whole host of important factors, including your budget, schedule, lifestyle, health, age and home environment.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Pet

Money is on everybody's mind all the time, and it's often the primary consideration people make when selecting a pet, and rightly so. If your heart is set on a dog or cat, you're going to have to budget for new pet supplies including food, toys, accessories and vet checkups. Pet birds will need a sturdy, well-built and spacious bird cage – a necessary investment which isn't always cheap. Some new pet products, like fish aquariums, can cost several hundred dollars up front in addition to regular care and preventive maintenance.

If you've been to visit a dog breeder or cat breeder and left with sticker shock when you learned the price of a pedigreed puppy or kitten, pet adoption may be the answer. Pet adoption agencies match neglected, abandoned or formerly abused pets with loving homes for a much lower cost than you'll pay at the pet store. In some places, pet adoption is even free of charge for approved individuals.

You'll also need to factor in your schedule and lifestyle. If you're not around the house much, getting a dog isn't the best idea, since they thrive on human companionship and can engage in destructive behavior when left unattended. Birds are surprisingly social and make good choices for people who spend a lot of time in the house. Cats and fish are generally less dependent on your company, so these make better choices if you're in and out of the house a lot.

Your age and overall health must also be taken into account when choosing a pet. Sedentary seniors may have trouble meeting the care needs of an energetic puppy. If you or anyone you live with suffers from pet allergies, you'll have to find a new friend that doesn't cause wheezing and sneezing. Try to match your own energy level to that of your pet, keeping in mind that not all dogs bound around endlessly and not all cats like to lounge in their owners' laps all day. Talking to a dog or cat breeder can help you select a suitable new pet.

Finally, think about your home environment. You want to be sure the animal will be happy living with you; in general, most (but not all) dog breeds need yards to exercise and play in, and cats tend to make better pets for apartment dwellers. Birds and fish can be in peril in multi-pet households, especially those with cats, unless you take appropriate security measures. Young children need an animal with a gentle and patient disposition to tolerate kids' curious prodding and poking.

The Practicalities of New Pet Ownership

If you've chosen to go the pet adoption route, you'll want a copy of the animal's pet records to ensure it's had all its scheduled shots and vaccinations. In the case of abandoned or abused animals, these are sometimes unavailable. You, as the new owner, will be responsible for meeting any such requirements.

Training and housebreaking a new puppy or kitten will require time, patience and commitment. If you have no prior experience training new pets, enrolling your furry friend in obedience school is the safest and easiest way to ensure you'll enjoy an obedient and well-behaved animal companion.

Pet names aren't always easy to choose, especially if you're going for something unique and original. One tried-and-true technique is to spend a few days observing your new friend's personality so you pick a pet name that reflects its individualism. Keeping pet names to one or two syllables is also a very good idea, ensuring that your pet will recognize its name when you say it.

Picking the right new pet is a complex decision that requires careful thought and evaluation. However, when you give it the attention it deserves, you'll be rewarded with the perfect furry, feathered or scaled friend, whose company you'll enjoy for years to come.

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Posted by Welcome on January 01,2013 at 12:36 AM
Fidnnig this post solves a problem for me. Thanks!
Posted by Beth on January 07,2011 at 04:23 PM
What's a pet credit card?
Posted by jessica on November 10,2010 at 03:34 AM
I recently got 4 guinea pigs at my local action i saved them actually from being boa food. One looks really underweight, he has a prob with me touching is hips and has a scab i think on his middle back that is gray. i wanna know what to do to help him and if hes in pain? Is the best thing to do is go to a vet? But i don't have that much money(i babysit and my parents said there my responsibility ) He seems pretty old too. please help. Any advice would help.
Posted by janice on May 20,2010 at 09:34 AM
how would i tell if my 2 guinea pigs are male or female the pet store i got them at had no clue on what they are doing can anyone help me pllz
Posted by Delaney on November 23,2009 at 05:53 PM
i love animals. i love animals because i think they are great friends. i have 2 catapillers,1 fish,2 dogs,3 cats.
Posted by THA-HOMEGIRL on August 02,2009 at 10:12 PM
FIRST OF ALL YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE A PET IF YOU CANT TAKE CARE OF IT .HAVING A PET IS LIKE HAVING A CHILD THEY NEED LOVE,CARE ,FOOD , HEALTH ,ECT....THEY GET SICK JUST LIKE KIDS DO. BEFORE YOU EVEN GET A PET THINK ABOUT ALL OF IT.WILL YOU BE ABLE TO GIVE IT LOVE ,CARE ,FOOD,HEALTH,ECT...IF NOT THAN THEREZ NO POINT ON GETTING ONE PETS HAVE ALL THESE NEEDS IF YOU CANT PROVIDE TO FIT THESE NEEDS THAN WHY PUT ANY PET THROUGH THE PAIN OF GETTING SICK, NEEDING LOVE &CARE ,OR NOT BEING FED WELL?
Posted by Jessica on September 25,2010 at 11:39 AM
I love it. I believe in that too.
Posted by NATALIE on October 13,2009 at 07:38 PM
HELLO MY IS NATALIE I WILL KEEP OF THE PET I WILL CHOSE
Posted by Sid Korpi on July 21,2009 at 05:30 PM
You should look into "Care Credit." You can get one that gives you a certain amount of time to pay off a predetermined balance, I think it's $300 and/or $1,000, with three months and a year to pay off those amounts, respectively, interest free. Of course, the interest hits if you take longer than the allotted time. Some vets will work with you on this. For instance, I had to get two of my dogs' teeth cleaned, to the tune of more than $700. My vet let me charge $1,000 on my Care Credit card and gave me an in-clinic credit for the balance. With seven pets, it took me no time to use up that amount. Good luck.
Posted by aaron on July 18,2009 at 12:27 PM
i would love to have a pet creit card
Posted by Tabitha Lopez on July 11,2009 at 12:52 PM
I do not have a lot of money and every vet that I have called has refused to take payments. I need some help for my baby and since I do not have a lot of money, he is going to suffer.
Posted by Jessica on November 10,2010 at 03:38 AM
well what is the problem with your pet? is it surgery it needs? or just a prob you don't know how to deal with?
Posted by JASLENE on August 02,2009 at 10:16 PM
ARE YOU JUST GANNA SEE IT SUFFER ??!! THERES ALWAYS A WAY .YOUN JUST GOTTA LOOK IN THE RIGHT PLACES.GOOD LUCK! PS.ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE
Posted by frank on July 31,2009 at 07:20 PM
you should not own a pet of any kind if you are not able to afford proper vet care.
Posted by Anita l. Murphy on July 08,2009 at 02:41 PM
I would like to apply for a pet care credit card.
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