Cats | Dogs | December 23, 2013

Do you have time for a pet?

Val Culpin
By: Val Culpin
An adorable puppy

It is very tempting to add a pet to your family, especially when there are so many that need good homes! But, it is very important to consider a number of things before diving into the wonderful world of pet ownership.

Time is relevant in two senses: First, before choosing to acquire a pet, consider that you will have a commitment of an average of ten years to that pet. If you anticipate that your lifestyle may change in that time frame so that a pet will not fit in, then perhaps you should reconsider getting a pet in the first place. Instead, why not volunteer at a local shelter or rescue to get your “pet fix”?

If you have made the decision to bring a new furry friend into your home, the next thing to consider is whether you will be able to devote enough time to properly socialize and train your new family member.

Are you ready to get up out of your warm bed any time of night to take your puppy outside to relieve himself?

Are you willing to take a few minutes each day to make sure that kitten’s litterbox is cleaned?

Having a new pet in the home is akin to having a new baby in the house. You will need to devote time to training basic obedience exercises like ‘sit’, ‘stay’ and ‘come’ at the very minimum. Are you willing to forgo an evening in front of the TV to take your pup to training classes? What about exercise? Your choice of type and breed of pet will be a big influence here, but even the smallest and least active of lap dogs benefits from a walk in the fresh air at least once or twice a day. And, most importantly, you must put aside time for bonding with your pet, whether that is playing a game of Fetch or Hide and Seek, or just sitting and snuggling together.

Your new pet is a part of the family, and he deserves your time and attention as much as any other family member!