How often have you seen cute pictures of other people’s pets and started wondering what it would be like to have yours? To care for a pet?
Very often I guess.
But caring for a pet isn’t the problem, is it? You’re stuck at choosing the right pet to adopt, an easy pet that will fit you just like your favorite sweater does.
I’ve been in your shoes once, and I know that searching for an easy pet to adopt feels a lot like finding ‘the one’ – after all, you’re adding a new member to the family. What worked for me was understanding that there’s more to a great relationship than love at first sight!
You will be taking on a huge responsibility which, despite its numerous rewards, includes some sacrifices. Whether in terms of financial cost, daily upkeep, housing, or training requirements, you must be committed and ready for new responsibilities. Here are some things to consider before adopting a pet to ensure that you’re bringing your new pet into the best possible situation for both you and them.
7 things to consider before getting a pet?
Before you go out and adopt a pet, you need to first perform a self-evaluation to find out if you are prepared to bring a pet into your life. If you feel that your answers might be colored by emotions, you can discuss the points raised with someone and pretend that you are convincing them to let you get a pet.
These 7 steps can help you avoid buyer’s remorse, which hurts both you and the pet.
1. Do you have the time to commit?
How much time do you have to devote to a pet?
Depending on the type of pet you decide to get, you could have them in your life for many years, so think in terms of hours per day and number of years. Dogs and cats, for instance, can live an average of 10-15 years, plus both require lots of attention. So, can you commit to them for such a long duration, and does your daily schedule offer enough flexibility to accommodate a pet’s needs?
Do not forget to weigh in your future plans and how having an animal fits into those plans. For instance, if you go on vacations very often or dream of traveling the world, consider whose care your pet will be in while you’re gone.
2. Can your finances accommodate a pet?
The condition of your finances is just as important as having the time to commit to a pet. That’s because you very often will have to open up your wallet more than expected for adding a new pet to your life. Before adopting a pet that you think will be easy to care for, consider the initial and ongoing costs of owning the pet. These may include:
- Non-recurring expenses such as Adoption fees, ID chip, etc.
- Recurring expenses such as food, grooming, pet supplies, licensing.
- Other expenses such as veterinary care, boarding, obedience training, emergency medical needs.
So you can see that unconditional love also adds up. Which can comfortably fit into your budget, a dog, cat, or a fish?
3. Do you have the landlord’s approval?
If you own your home, then you can skip this one. However, if you lease or rent your home make sure to check with your landlord to see if you are allowed to have pets in the house and can afford the required pet deposits.
Most people living in a leased or rented house who skip over this important step often find out that the lease has restrictions, such as breed bans, or the landlord disapproves of certain pets for fear of dealing with a flea infestation that won’t go away after you’ve moved out. Sadly, this is the main reason many pets are returned.
4. Can you make Your Home Pet-Friendly?
Some of the simple things that we take for granted can cause severe damage to a pet’s system. For instance, you probably had no idea that ibuprofen is toxic to cats, or that something as simple as bubble gum can be very dangerous to dogs, did you?
That’s why you need to carefully go through your home now that you are yet to bring a pet home, to identify and remove all pet hazards out of the way or from the house.
If you’re bringing in a pet that’s free to roam the house, make sure that countertops, floors, electrical cords, curtain cords, and bottles of chemicals are not carelessly lying where they have access to.
You can go one step further to look through your yard for plants that are toxic for pets, and if you carry sugar-free gum in your bag or purse, which often contains xylitol, consider discarding them or storing them in a safe and unreachable place that only you can access.
5. Are your team members on board?
Taking care of a pet is teamwork and requires cooperation from your team members, whether you live alone or have a family.
While it might seem easier to care for a pet when you have a family, you need to ensure that members of your household agree that getting a pet is a good decision and everyone is committed to making the pet comfortable, this includes your present pet – if you have one.
Before you bring a pet into a family, consider:
- Is there anyone has pet allergies.
- If there’s anyone that is scared or uncomfortable being around animals.
- Is everyone is ready to share in the caring responsibilities.
If you live alone, you might feel like you’re a one-person team. Well, that’s only true to an extent. However, you still need someone who can help you exercise or look after the pet when you don’t feel too well, have tons of work to complete, or are traveling somewhere far.
Your team members can be the pet walker, a pet sitter, a pet-loving neighbor, or a home boarding family that you can reach out to help look after your pet while you’re unavailable. So use this time to ask for references to a good pet walker, pet boarding family, or pet sitter.
6. Have you spoken to a veterinarian?
Since a vet is the first person that you’ll approach when your pet is injured, sick, or displaying strange behaviors, it is very important that you find a trustful vet before getting a pet.
Ask other pet parents to recommend a ‘good’ veterinarian, but do not judge a vet’s abilities based solely on how they interact with you. Most good vets are better at interacting with the animals in their care than with people, so don’t skip over a vet because he/she doesn’t sound warm and friendly.
Remember, a good veterinarian is very often an excellent source of information that can help you choose the right pet for your lifestyle, plus this is going to be a relationship that will probably last for the duration of your pet’s lifespan, so choose wisely.
Do you know why it is very important to talk to a veterinarian before getting a pet?
It’s because having a veterinarian’s contact before adopting a pet means that you can immediately get the new pet checked for health and behavioral issues that might have crept up on you later.
Besides, all pet adoption contracts require that you get the pet checked by a veterinarian within a given time frame. Running around looking for a veterinarian after you must have adopted a pet is a bad way to start the relationship between both of you.
7. How much research have you done?
Even with all the information available to use at our fingertips, we humans are fond of using very little of that – just enough to confirm what we think. I know because I’m human too.
Make sure that you perform deep research on the type of pet you’d like to get. For instance, pet care requires adept knowledge of the pet involved. Nutrition, pet safety, and grooming tips are some of the stuff that you need to know when you’re searching for an easy pet to adopt – after all, how would you tell that the pet will be easy to care for if you don’t know what it takes to look after that type of pet?
Look on the internet and pet forums for information regarding the pet, but if you want information that’s reliable, you can always reach out to the vet in your community.
Types of pets you can adopt.
While trying to make up your mind on which easy pet to adopt, you will discover that every animal has its own set of daily needs, such as nutrition, grooming, exercise, and living space. It’s up to you to pick the pet of your choice based on what you can offer them long term. Here are some popular choices:
Dogs are hands down, the most popular pet. But they are not one of the easiest pets to care for, especially while they’re still very young. Having a puppy is almost like having a new baby.
There are many breeds of dogs to pick from, each with a different temperament, energy level, attention needs, and grooming difficulty. If you choose to get a dog, spend some time going over the pros and cons of each to figure out what works best for you.
Cats do not need as much attention as dogs do. Although they still need to be fed and groomed regularly, they don’t need to be walked the same way dogs do. Most of them are usually happy to walk around the house, going about their cat business without disturbance.
They are fairly low-maintenance pets and make great companions. Make sure you clean out the cat litter box regularly else they’ll mess up the floor.
Fishes are a popular choice for those that need the easiest pet to care for, and often add an aesthetic appeal to your household. We recommend starting out with the popular species for beginners, such as goldfishes, tetra, guppies, danios, or betta fish.
However, if you want to buy other unusual breeds, then it’s best to speak to a specialist. They are in a better position to offer information about fish food and plant needs as well as advice you on which fishes are compatible with others.
With fishes, you’ll also need to know the various aquarium styles available and how to look after them, so make sure to do your homework first.
Birds are an increasingly popular pet choice among pet parents and often make wonderful companions. Some popular breeds to choose from are Parrots, Cockatiel, Finches, Domestic canary, and Budgies.
Although birds look appealing to the eyes and seem like they’d be the easiest pet to care for, they are often stressful for new owners, especially the large ones which can be quite messy and noisy.
Although rabbits are beautiful animals that don’t need much maintenance, they are a less entertaining pet than, say, a dog or a cat. Plus, a rabbit isn’t the ideal choice if you have little ones running around the place, looking for a cute, furry pet to play with or cuddle – they don’t really enjoy being held.
6. Guinea Pigs
This is one pet that loves being held and petted, and they’ll often reward your efforts with a deep, cozy, vibrating noise. Although they absolutely enjoy human companionship and stretching out on your laps, it is best to buy more than one as they get quite lonely when left alone. Just like cats and dogs, they also need to be groomed and their cages need to be cleaned regularly.
A Hamster is one cute, little bundle of joy that’s always hot with kids. They need loads of exercise, but unlike dogs, you’ll only need to buy a cage and a few Hamster toys to get them going – a hamster wheel is a must-have as they can run on it for hours. Be careful though, they can get lost if they’re allowed into very small spaces, it’s best to put them in a hamster ball for the kids.
Ferrets are a lot like cats, although stronger and more aggressive when provoked. They are naturally quiet, compassionate, inquisitive, intelligent, and friendly. They are very active at certain points in the day, and very often get into trouble with other pets, especially cats. Their grooming needs are similar to a dog or cat’s and, even though they have thicker skin, they can also get cat fleas or other skin problems if not properly cared for.
This wasn’t an exhaustive list of all the easy pets that one can adopt, there are other critters such as reptiles, rodents, amphibians, etc. that’ll make great pets too. It’s all boils down to personal preference.
Other things you need to consider when choosing a pet.
Now that we’ve gone through the self-evaluation to check your level of preparedness and the types of pet you can choose from, we still need to be realistic
1. How big does the pet grow?
Do you have enough space for the animal’s adult size?
If you have limited space, or just want a lap dog, then you have to be cautious when picking a puppy. There are puppies that are so large at a young age you instinctively know they’ll grow into a big adult. But some relatively small pups can grow bigger than you ever expected. Find out how large the pet grows before taking it home, so you can plan accommodation for their adult size.
2. How much exercise does the pet need?
If walking across the room to switch TV channels instead of using the remote is your idea of a workout, then you’re better off getting any other animal except an energetic dog. Dogs, just like humans, have different tolerance for inactivity or lack of exercise and will find other ways to burn energy – trust me, dogs can be very destructive and disruptive when they’re brimming with unspent energy.
This is another aspect where you’ll need to carry out deep research on the pet you wish to adopt. You’ll have a much healthier pet, happier time, and easier life if the pet you choose matches your lifestyle.
3. Can you quickly learn to read the pet’s behavior?
What does it mean when your pet fish stays put in one corner of the aquarium? How about when your puppy only bites one person? What does it mean when your cat or dog keeps biting or scratching its fur? Can you learn to tell when the animal is stressed?
Animals have emotions and mood swings too; <find link> since they can’t vocalize their concern, which we won’t understand if they did, they display some behaviors that can notify you of what they’re going through only if you understand what these behaviors mean.
So while you are researching the pet you’d like to adopt, make sure that you check out the basic behavioral cues the animal displays and try to memorize some of them.
4. Does the pet require training?
Most pets can learn some basic tricks and how to interact with humans, but not all of them need to be trained. For instance, if you adopt a pet that’s allow full access to the house, example, a dog, cat, or ferret, and you want your happy and clean home to remain happy and clean, then you’ll need to begin training the pet immediately.
If you adopted a cat or ferret, introduce the pet to its litter box as soon as you get inside. If the pet is a puppy put a leash on the dog, then introduce it to the environment and start potty training from there. However, if you want a pet that doesn’t require much training then go for a hamster, rabbit, or a bird.
Is your mind made up on the type of pet to adopt a pet? Here are a couple of places you can start searching for an easy pet to adopt.
Before we get to the final section, I have a simple request.
Where to find pets for adoption?
Some of the best places to look for a pet include:
- A stray pet can adopt you as its owner, but make sure to find out if the pet is actually a stray or just escaped and can’t find its way back.
- Ask your family members or friends, in some cases, they might not be in a position to care for the pet. So you can adopt their pet rather than it being sent to the shelter.
- Check out pet adoption websites.
- Ask the vet you spoke with for contacts to the healthy pet that you want.
- You can also check the various rescue groups and animal shelters around you. Many of these shelters allow you to adopt a pet for as low as $50.
Judging from the length of this list, one might conclude that there’s isn’t an easy pet, after all, they all require some work.
There’s some truth in that.
However, without knowing the exact requirements to care for these pets, many people often bring home a pet only to be frustrated because it doesn’t match their lifestyle. Remember, a dejected pet parent often neglects the animal in their care. In many cases, these animals end up in the rescue shelter or foster care home through no fault of theirs.
Bottom line, irrespective of the type of pet that you choose to bring home, make sure that you evaluate yourself and the pet prior to completing the adoption process.
Remember to treat them well for a rewarding experience.