What you need to consider before getting a pet – Part 2

Most considerations for taking home a pet are common sense. For instance, if you live on a farm or ranch, your choice is almost limitless. Most would become workers. Big dogs to guard the livestock and chase away predators. Strong cats to keep the varmint population under control. They can also serve as family pets, but their main purpose is to earn their keep.

Like the humans in their families, working pets need proper medical care, decent sleeping quarters and adequate food. And, maybe a little love and appreciation. Of course, farm and ranch families don’t need to confine their pet choices to cats and dogs. They can adopt any numbers and kinds of pets they want, as long as they’ll be properly cared for.

For people with large homes and yards, the choice and number of pets are almost as varied as those for farmers and ranchers. While private home animals aren’t usually workers, they still need the same degree of care. They can be large or small, bird or beast, and need human members of their family to be responsible for training and exercising them. If there are nearby neighbors and frequent visitors, choose a gentle pet that won’t attack or abuse other people’s property.

The cost of keeping pets in a house depends on resources. It isn’t likely that a family with a modest income would invest in a $25,000 shi tsu. It’s usually both economic and socially conscious to get pets from an ASPCA or other animal shelter. You may be saving a non-pedigreed stray’s life, while at the same time get a loving and trusting friend for $25. When going through that adoption process, usually all the shots and other health requirements are done before you take a pound puppy or kitty home. If you have any health questions about a potential pet, whether you buy or adopt it, it is a good idea before you commit to taking it home to have the animal checked out by a veterinarian.

If you live in an apartment, it is more sensible to get a small pet. Cats are usually very quiet and low maintenance. They adjust quickly to confined areas and minimum exercise. Dogs have more difficulty in apartments, but with adequate walking and exercise, a small dog can become a happy, instead of yappy, apartment dweller. Considerable training is necessary for an apartment pet, such as noise control, toilet habits and furniture damage control. Of course, exotic pets such as mice, snakes, hamsters, ferrets and birds all have their own special care requirements you must consider before adopting them.

An important aspect before taking a pet home is to make sure the health of the human family is considered. If one member is allergic to furry critters, you may have to keep your choice to a Mexican hairless or something within the lizard and fish species. If you have a very young, defenseless human baby, you must be sure no harm from a pet is possible. The same applies when the kids are rowdy, and a puppy, kitten or other very small animal may be in danger from them.

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