When deciding on what breed of pet you want to bring home with you, the choice is endless from Labradors to Labradoodles, from Sphynx to Persian. The differences sit not only in the appearance of such breeds, but much more importantly in the temperament, health, life-expectancy, intelligence, adaptability, diet...the list goes on. And on.
What can initially seem like a mind field - especially for the in-experienced or first timer, can actually be simplified into one easy question...'what would suit my life?'
It is paramount to consider what 'you' want from your pet, what are 'you' like as a person? Below are some important questions to ask yourself before bringing home a new addition to the family;
• Are you in indoor or outdoor person?
• Do you enjoy long hikes, or prefer a gentle stroll round your local park?
• Are you fastidious with your home? - could you put up with a coating pet hair all over your favourite scarf or chair?
• Do you work long shifts?
• Do you have a helpful (and willing) neighbour who would kindly step in where needed?
• Do you enjoy long holidays abroad, locking and leaving the house for weeks on end?
• Do you have children?
• Are you willing to put lots of time in to train your new pet? Would you prefer one that doesn't require much input?
• If considering a large pooch, do you have a decent outdoor space; they can shake themselves off in?
• Dog mess? Yep, love it or hate it, your going to be clearing in up!
• Do you have the money to front not only the initial vetenary fees, but inevitable things that will crop up?
• Are you happy for your new dog to travel in your car? (Dogs can stink; dogs can accidentally cause damage with their claws!)
• Are you happy for your new pet to want to be permanently attached to your side, meowing constantly at your feet, for no other reason than that is simply what they do.
• Are you prepared to accept your new member the long haul - we are talking 20 years or more. This is not uncommon!
A lot to think about! All too often people are swept away with the romantic idea of purchasing a new pet, only weeks later to be faced with the reality of chewed banisters, expensive pet food, kennel/cattery costs, black clothes never quite being black again, only to decide that perhaps pet ownership is not for them, off it is to the re-homing centre!
You need to think about not what you want in a pet, but how the pet is going to easily slot into your life, because it is when people make rash decisions, when people need to make life-style changes after not thinking it through carefully that it is a recipe for disaster.
Don't be swept away with the notion that 'it will get you out of the house more', or it 'will get you fit and healthy', for that there is a pair of trainers and a lot of road to walk! If you failed to be enthralled by long walks at the time of purchase, you certainly wont when cute puppy is fully grown, its freezing cold and pooch is whining, un-relenting, for a nice, long, muddy, bowel emptying hike!
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