Choosing a Pet

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CHOOSING A PETEvery year, thousands of families purchase or adopt a new pet. Every relationship that develops between human and animal has a unique quality, a special bond that links them.

Too many people enter into this new relationship with little thought for the new pet coming into the household, and, indeed, how the new pet will change the family structure and perhaps necessitate some personality changes on their own part.

It is absolutely vital to match the type of pet and the personality of the pet with that of the family — if you haven’t picked the right one, everyone may be miserable. How do you decide which pet is right for your family? Read about the type of pet you want: there are organizations for birds, fish, frogs, dogs, cats — even rats have their own club. The Internet can be a great tool if you use it carefully.

Expectations – The entire family needs to sit down and discuss the pro and cons of the type of pet they’re considering. If Mom hates spiders, you may want to think twice about a tarantula. Decide what you want to get back from the pet — you may love your guppies, but you can’t take them on vacation with you.

Educate – It’s very important to speak to people that you trust about any type of pet: e.g., Are there certain dogs and cats that people with allergies can have? Check with pet specific organizations like the local reptile or rodent society.

Cost – Some pets are not only costly up front, but care and upkeep can run into the thousands.

Life span – How long will this pet live? Dogs 10-15 years, cats 15-20 years and some parrots 100 years, while some of the small rodents only live 2 to 4 years.