When bringing home a new pet, you have a lot to consider such as the species that would best fit with your lifestyle, and the amount of time and money you can devote to your pet’s care. Before making a snap decision based on a cute face that tugs at your heart, read our Companion Care Animal Clinic team’s guide to the factors you should carefully consider when choosing the perfect pet addition to your family.

#1: How much time can you devote to your pet’s care?

Time is often the biggest consideration when deciding whether to welcome a new pet to your family. If you have little free time to devote to training, grooming, and exercising, a fish may be your best bet. However, if you are able to incorporate your pet’s needs easily into your daily routine, a dog or horse can be a great match.

When deciding whether you have enough time to dedicate to a pet’s care, you also should consider your potential pet’s age. Very young or old pets typically require more attention than healthy adult pets, as young pets need training, while older pets may require more medical care. If you want to avoid the chewing, accidents, and jumping that come with the puppy stage, consider taking on a young adult dog who is already trained.

#2: What type of pet will fit into your lifestyle?

Consider your normal routine. Do you spend your free time hiking, kayaking, or otherwise exploring the great outdoors? Do you prefer to hang out with friends at a local restaurant or curl up on the couch at home? Your new pet should mesh well with your lifestyle and personality, whether they are an adventurous thrill seeker or a laidback companion.

If you travel for work or entertainment a great deal, a social pet species could become miserable. Animals who thrive on minimal handling, such as fish and reptiles, are best for people who are often away from home. Dogs, cats, and other social species love families who spend much of their time at home.

#3: What is the purpose of your pet?

While a pet’s main purpose is typically companionship, various species or breeds can have unique purposes. For example, a protective guarding breed can help keep your family safe, while a snake can provide fun entertainment for your children. If you live in a rural environment and have livestock, you may be searching for an excellent mouser or a livestock guardian dog. If you are interested in canine sports, a highly athletic breed, such as a border collie, may make a wonderful pet with which to train and compete.

#4: How much can you budget for a pet’s care?

Before welcoming home a new pet, knowing the amount of money you can comfortably budget for their care is an important factor to consider. Typically, smaller pets’ care is less costly in terms of food, bedding, and parasite prevention. However, some costs remain the same, regardless of your pet’s size. For example, a Great Dane’s routine wellness care consisting of a physical exam, vaccinations, and screening tests will generally cost the same as a Chihuahua’s wellness care.

Some breeds are prone to developing certain health conditions, which can be costly as long-term management expenses accrue. An English bulldog, for example, has an increased risk for a multitude of medical issues such as skin allergies, eyelid problems, and respiratory disorders. Mixed-breed pets are generally healthier, because their genetic health risks have been minimized.

#5: Where would you like to get your next pet?

If you intend to bring home a specific pet breed, you may be put on a breeder’s waiting list. However, pets are available through many sources such as expos, research rescues, and national databases. In addition, you may find a pet who best fits your family through your social network if a friend or family member needs to rehome their cat, dog, or other pet. You should avoid pet stores, as the living conditions they provide pets are less than ideal, which can lead to illness.

Congratulations on bringing home a new pet! We are eager to welcome them to our Companion Care Animal Clinic family. Once your new pal has settled in, give us a call to schedule their first wellness visit.