Choosing Your Pet and Finding the Right Fit

Choosing your pet and the type of pet to bring home should not depend solely on how cute the animal is. Finding your pet attractive is important, but there are other things to consider when choosing your pet such as where you live. If for example, you live in an apartment it would hardly be fair to bring home a German Shepard or a Rottweiler because large dogs need open space to run and play, and apartment living simply cannot provide this for a large dog. A more appropriate size dog to consider for apartment living would be small breed dogs such as Toy Poodles, a Chihuahua or Shih Tzu.

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Points to Consider

When choosing your pet, consider these points before making a decision:

1. Cost of the animal: Large dogs cost more to keep than small dogs, and cats cost about the same as having a small dog.

2. If you live in an apartment you will have close neighbors which means if you have a dog that often barks, this could present a problem with your neighbors and you could even be asked to either get rid of the dog or to move due to barking.

3. Keep in mind that the size of the dog does not necessarily dictate how much barking will occur. For example, Greyhounds rarely bark, but Chihuahuas can be quite excitable and bark often.

4. Gender of your pet should also be considered. The male breed of any type of animal is usually the more relaxed and even 'goofy' at times, whereas females tend to have more emotional swings. Additionally, females can reproduce, so if your interest is in breeding, a female may be considered.

5. Training of your new pet should be considered as well. If you choose a dog you will want your dog to be well behaved and not jumping all over people when they arrive at your home. Training a dog takes a lot of time and patience. You must be willing to commit to this before deciding on bringing home a dog.

Many people don't think that cats can be trained, but indeed they can be. But, the nice thing about cats is that you don't have to potty train them. They instinctively know to use the litter box. Although you would still need to teach the cat manners so they don't jump on the dinner table while you are eating, but the training for a cat is by far, much less of a commitment than that of of a dog.

6. You should also consider the type of pet to have at home if you have babies or small children in the home. Larger more agressive dogs would probably not be a good choice for a family with small children.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before you Bring home a New Pet

1. How much time do I have to devote to a pet? Pets require regular attention, play time, training, and grooming.

2. How much space do I have for a pet? Does my apartment complex allow animals, and if so, how much extra cost (deposit)is required to bring in a pet? Does my house have a secure fence for a dog?

3 Can I afford a pet? What kind of pet supplies wll be required and how much will they cost? Pets require regular veterinary check ups, trips to the groomer or training school, license fees, and lots of food.

4. Who will care for my pet if I have to travel for work or want to take a vacation?

5. Do I have the patience to train my pet? Can I deal with 'accidents' such as while potty training, or scratching the furniture?

6. Am I willing to commit to taking care of this pet for its entire life? Cats can live 12 to 20 years and depending on the size of the dog, a dog can live anywhere from 8 to 15 years.