If you’re wondering whether or not to get a pet (and more than three million people decided to during lockdown), then it’s worth thinking about whether you’d be a good pet owner. Pets can be challenging – while people naturally focus on the good side of companionship, play and cuteness, there are also worries, responsibilities and even frustrations!
Today we’re looking at some of the things you need to have in place to make sure you will make a good pet owner.
Knowing What to Do
If you take on responsibility for a pet, then you’ll need to learn what to do when you’re worried about them – at least when common problems arise.
It’s well worth taking some time to research before you commit to getting a pet, and learning about the most common health problems of the species and breed. You don’t need to know everything, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself, but spotting what’s a serious enough problem to take to the vet and what’s likely to pass without doing permanent damage to your pet is a good skill to cultivate.
If anything falls into a grey area where you’re not sure, online vet advice is a great way to learn more.
Providing a Home
Take a realistic look at your home, and make sure it would make a happy, healthy environment for your chosen pet. If you’re living in one room of a shared house, you might simply not be able to provide a good home for a cat – unless you’re close friends with your housemates and all of you are on the same page about pets.
Do some more research! Look up what the needs are of the pet you want and see how and if you can fulfil those needs. If your pet wouldn’t be happy in the home you have at the moment, it’s not the end of the world – it just lets you know what sort of house you need to look for next time you move!
Pets can be expensive, not merely to buy but to keep. Pets need feeding, some need specialist equipment or carefully heated terrariums, and of course vet bills can be an occasional big expense.
It’s crushing to take on a pet and only later realise you can’t afford to give it the care it deserves. Try to budget in advance for your pet, and work out if you’re able to truly afford it – tot up the expenses of food, increased utility bills, toys and equipment, and try to decide whether you need pet insurance or will have a seperate savings pot for vet’s bills.
If you know you can afford it, then you’ll taken a big step towards being a good pet owner.