How To Tell If You Are Ready To Be A Pet Owner
If you have been following my Motivational WebTV series, you might have seen some past episodes where my two dogs Chester and Roxie were guest stars. So as you can tell, I’m a dedicated dog owner. In fact, I can’t imagine a life at home without my dogs.
I’ve always been a huge advocate for being a pet owner since the benefits are great. However, I’ll also be the first to say here that not everyone is cut out to be a pet owner.
So how do you know if you are ready for pets?
Well, hopefully I’ll work you through some of the considerations in this new episode of Motivational WebTV. I’ll also have these important factors on text below.
Do You Have A Suitable Home For A Pet?
This is the first factor to consider as different pets require suitable homes. Although cats, fish and gerbils can be happy in almost any type of residential dwelling including apartments, dogs do better in certain types of homes. Yes, dogs can be quite happy in both detached houses and high-rise apartments as long as there is access to outdoors nearby.
I lived with my first two Lhasa Apso dogs for many years in high-rise condos and with dog litterboxes available today, many dogs do well in high-rise apartments or condos. Just make sure that there are parks nearby where they can get fresh air and exercise. All of my dogs are potty trained indoors with a dog litterbox placed in a designated location inside.
We don’t have to go outdoors if the weather is really nasty like blowing winter snowstorms or heavy rainstorms. Plus I’m not worried if I end up coming home too late. My dogs just go to their dog litterbox whenever they need to.
Keep in mind that not all high-rise buildings allow dogs so make sure that you check with your building rules regarding pets before bringing one home. Some do allow pets but only a certain type and/or a certain maximum size. For example, I lived in a condo building where dogs had to be 20 pounds or less in order to live in the building.
Do You Have The Time For A Pet?
Many baby pets like puppies and kittens are so cute that many people can’t resist bringing them home for themselves or their kids. However, the realities of pet ownership soon set in when we realize just how great the responsibilities are with pet care. Pet care also includes having the actual time each day for a pet.
You might want to think about whether your busy lifestyle is in fact too busy for a pet in your life. Dogs and cats require considerable time and this is especially true for dogs. Dogs are not happy if left alone for long periods of time since they are naturally pack animals who like to be with others. There is a good chance that they will destroy your home and make all sorts of noise if left alone all the time.
If you can’t devote enough daily time to play and interact with your pet, do not get one that requires a lot of time. There are pets that are less time demanding such as fish, turtles or gerbils. But remember, you still need to take the time to clean and maintain fish tanks and mice cages.
So part of your research should be the amount of time and maintenance required for each type of pet. You have to be totally honest with yourself as to just how much time you can devote to a pet for the rest of its life.
How Much Travel Do You Do?
If you travel a lot away from home for work, you might want to reconsider which type of pet might be best for you, if any at all if there are no other family members or outside people like pet sitters who can come and look after your pet while you are away.
If you have to end up boarding your pet for two weeks each month during your trips, this might indicate that you should not become a pet owner unless your travel schedule becomes much lighter. A few days of boarding here and there are okay but anything more is not really fair to your pet. After all, how would you like to be put in a boarding kennel for a week each month?
Again, if you have to travel a lot and still want to be a pet owner, consider having animals that might not miss you as much such as fish and turtles. These kinds of pets are easy to take care of by other people while you are away.
Can You Properly Train A Pet?
A huge reason for pet ownership failure is the training involved. You really have to be honest with yourself with your own ability and time required to train a pet. Some pets like dogs require a lot of training while others like gerbils, rabbits and turtles will not involve any training at all. Many dogs and cats have been abandoned because of ignorant owners who failed to properly train their animals.
Dog experts claim that there are really no such things as bad dogs as there are only bad dog owners who did not adequately provide the right training for their dogs. Now, it is not expected that new dog owners automatically know how to properly train a dog but that’s okay. If you are a new dog owner, make sure that you get proper dog obedience training which is education for both yourself as well as your dog. Sign up for organized dog obedience training classes. Ask other experienced pet owners on tips as well. Training, including housetraining, will be required for dogs, cats and ferrets.
If you are a future or new dog owner, make sure you catch my Free Dog Training Video I produced with my two dogs Chester and Roxie demonstrating basic skills they learned.
Do You Have The Budget For Adequate Pet Care?
You might recall a past episode of Motivational WebTV where I revealed I had to spend $2,500 on eye surgery for one of my dogs. Some pets like dogs, cats and birds can have significant health costs, especially if they get ill or injured. Talk to existing pet owners to find out what their average annual veterinary costs are.
You certainly don’t want to be in a position where you can’t afford the regular and unexpected vet costs for a pet. It is so unfortunate when pet owners have to give up their animals just because they can’t afford the pet care expenses anymore. If these innocent animals cannot get new homes, they are often euthanized as a result which is a real crying shame. These incidents should never happen.
Does Anybody Have Pet Allergies Or Are Kids Too Young?
If you or any of your family members have allergies to pets, certain animals will not be appropriate for your home. You need more hypoallergic pets that your family is not allergic to. Also, some animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs do really well with children as do cats and some breeds of dogs. However, some breeds of dogs and exotic animals might not be appropriate in families with infants and small children. You want to do some research on the different breeds of dogs to match up a dog breed’s temperament with the age of children you have at home.
My Lhasa Apsos for example, although small and cute, have not been known to be friendly with children. Some breeds just do better with only adults at home. Again, do your research to assess suitability of specific animals and breeds for your family household.
Are You Prepared For A Lifelong Commitment To Your Pet?
Getting a pet should never be on impulse. It’s just not fair to the animals especially if they end up getting abandoned or abused. You must do adequate research on what is required in order to be a successful pet owner and prepare for a lifelong commitment to the pet no matter what kind it is. My first two Lhasa Apso dogs both lived to age 15. Some dogs and cats live even longer so prepare for the long haul with some pets.
The rewards and benefits with pet ownership are huge as I’ve experienced with the four Lhasa Apso dogs I’ve owned so far since 1979. However, there are great responsibilities as well and as long as you are realistic about them, the happiness you will have with your pet is limitless.
Be totally honest with yourself as you go through the factors I’ve outined here. If it turns out that you can successfully address these factors with complete honesty, then by all means, you deserve to become a dedicated pet owner.
Share This Article And Pets Video With Others
If you know others who are considering to have a pet, please share this article and pet video with them. You would be doing them a huge favour. There are buttons on the blog post to easily share it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and by email. All past episodes including the last one with my skydiving ski student are at my Motivational WebTV Archive.
Feel free to leave your comments at the blog post (click the link above).