Having a pet in your house can make it feel more like a home. Pets bring love, fun, and variety to a household. But how do you know what type of pet is best for your home? Here are some factors to consider:
1) Do you have children? If you have children, this will be a big deciding factor in what type of pet you decide to bring home. You will need a pet that is patient, non-aggressive, and isn’t easily lost or injured. Mild-mannered dogs and cats are known to be good pets for homes with children. Some pets to avoid if you have kids: exotic pets like sugar gliders that tend to bite and scratch; reptiles and rodents that tend to transmit the bacteria salmonella; pets that require a lot of attention and maintenance like large birds, chinchillas, and ferrets.
2) How much space do you have in your home? When choosing a pet, you need to consider the space you are willing/able to give your pet. Do you live on a ranch with wide open spaces for a large animal to run around and explore? Do you live in a studio apartment in the city without outdoor space? Or somewhere in between? Obviously you will not want to purchase a large dog that needs exercise if you don’t have space for him to run. If you are in an apartment, a smaller pet like a fish or hamster would be more appropriate. Be aware however, there are some “small” pets that actually require large amounts of space. Sugar gliders, for example, though small, actually require fairly large cages. This is because of their lifestyle which includes climbing, jumping, and gliding. Sugar glider cages tend to be at least 3-6 feet tall! So, as you are choosing a pet research into their level of activity, and need for space before making a decision.
3) High or low maintenance? Do you want a pet that requires little-to-no training, cleaning, and attention? Or do you love nurturing and caring for a pet as if it were your child? Do you want something easy to care for or something that will take a little more attention and effort? When choosing a pet, research things like: what type of environment/habitat will the pet need; what type of food and how often will it need to be fed; how often will it need to be groomed; how often will its habitat need to be cleaned, replaced, etc.; how much attention/socialization will it need. All of these will help you decide what kind of pet to choose.
4) What are you willing to spend? Different pets cost different amounts to care for. When choosing a pet you need to consider not only the cost of the pet itself, but the cost of its food, living quarters, hygiene, vet bills, toys and other supplies, boarding or pet-sitting if you leave town, etc. Traditional domestic pets like dogs, cats and small fish tend to be the cheapest because most everything they need can be found at your local pet store. More exotic pets like chinchillas, sugar gliders, snakes, etc. will be a little more expensive because you may need to special-order their food, cages, and other supplies.
Choosing the perfect pet for your home can be difficult, but in the end it will be worth it when you get to add that special new member to your family. Good luck!
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