A Small Companion | Many Possibilities

May 1, 2020 / Pet Owners

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How To Buy A Pet

Looking for companionship? Human companionship is said to add years to people’s life expectancy, and pet companionship is said to add even more. Some people may find animal companionship more preferable to the humankind and point out that pets can provide unconditional love (except for cats), they cost less to support (probably), and they are easier to provide for. Buying a pet comes with lots of responsibilities, and with such a large pet market currently available takes some consideration when determining which pet might be right for you.

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Buying A PetWhat Kind Of Pet Should I Get?

There are so many different types of animals available to today’s consumers, determining which one would be a match for you, your personality, and your lifestyle can be a bit of a challenge. There are lots of cute quizzes available online, and simple internet searches for pets turn up very interesting results. Apparently, there is a large percentage of people in the world interested (at least jokingly) in buying pet monkeys, foxes, and other exotic animals, but purchasing exotic pets (or any pet for that matter) should not be considered lightly. Before rushing off to a pet store, do a little research on the needs of different pets and different breeds of different pets for ideas, and especially consider your lifestyle; do you have time for a pet? Do you need a pet that doesn’t require much care? Do you want an affectionate pet? Do you have the money to provide food and medical attention a pet requires? Sometimes non-traditional pets may be the best option. Do you have enough yard space for a dog to run, or are you willing to adjust your schedule so that you can give a dog as much exercise as they need? Some dog breeds are less active and might be a better fit for a more casual lifestyle, whereas other dog breeds may have an over-abundance of energy and without proper exercise may act out by being destructive or pooping in your shoes. Cats are a completely different type of pet and prospective owners should prepare themselves for any member of potential personalities and behavioral complexities. Know that you do not own a cat, you provide a home for a cat and the cat decides if you are worthy of its affection. Then understand that showing you affection may involve bringing you dead small animals.

What Kinds Of Pets Are There Besides Dogs And Cats?

There is a tremendous range of animals available as pets, and the right match still necessitates asking many of the same questions. Birds are beautiful, can be smart and affectionate, and don’t require much space, but working with a bird and training them may require a little research. Reptiles may seem a little less intelligent and affectionate, but require much less attention and can be especially fascinating for children to observe. Arachnids and insects can still be handled, but definitely require a calm disposition and should certainly not be looked to for affection. Fish are completely removed from the intelligence and affection categories, and require very specialized (and potentially expensive) equipment and attention, but can provide ambiance and a sort of relaxing or meditative entertainment. Exotic pets are generally not recommended due to special needs and training for both the pet and the owner, as well as dietary restrictions and lack of available medical care as some veterinarians may not provide service for things like monkeys, foxes, or other animals, and many would argue that many exotic animals be claimed as pets are generally best left in the wild.

How much does it cost to buy a pet?

Different pets will have different price tags, and there is a lot of discussion regarding purchasing an animal versus adopting an animal from a pet shelter. I fall on the side that advocates for adoption over purchasing, especially when it comes to dogs and cats. Purchasing animals from breeders encourage inbreeding and inhumane breeding practices, and there are thousands and thousands of pets available at a fraction of the cost that are at risk of being killed without human intervention. Another expense many people don’t consider is veterinary attention for your pet. Pets may be small but are just like humans in how quickly medical expenses can pile up for even the most mundane problems, and a visit to the emergency room can cost quite a bit no matter the breed (and come with an extra sting when you get the bill with the information that there is nothing actually wrong with your pet). Pet insurance is available and is just like human health insurance; you will pay a monthly premium that is not cheap, with the hope it is never necessary, but maybe worth it when your pet experiences a real emergency.

The last thing to consider is the least pleasant. You will most likely outlive your pet. If you have children, consider how you will handle such an event when looking to buy a pet. On the other hand, some pets like large birds can live 30 years and require a different level of commitment. Before buying a pet, consider the amount of time the pet may require to keep them happy and healthy, and if you are ready for a years-long friendship that may be one of the most challenging and rewarding relationships of your life. You are considering sharing your space and your life with another living creature that will depend on you for everything for its entire lifetime. Choose wisely. Good luck!

About Our Guest Writer:

M.R. Felker, Content Writer.  M.R. Felker lives near San Diego, travels frequently with his amazing wife, and likes to live dangerously by accepting candy from strangers.

M.R. Felker

How To Buy A Pet FAQs

I definitely want a dog, but how can I determine which breed is right for me?

Some breeds are naturally more or less energetic, and some are more vocal than others. Talk to the people working at the shelter. They have been around the animals and have an understanding of the animals personalities, and can be especially helpful when matching you with a companion that will fit your lifestyle.

What is the best pet food?

There has been lots of research and marketing in the last decade for all-natural pet foods. Several pet food companies are trying to decrease fillers and increase protein content, but some animals will not be able to process such large quantities of protein. Talk to your veterinarian for recommendations that may be more specific to your pet.

How much is pet insurance?

There are different levels of policies that will have different amounts of coverage, deductibles and limitations. As of the writing of this article the cheapest plans may be as little as $10US per month or as much as $100US per month, but the current average cost for pet insurance is $30US-$50US per month

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