Am I Ready to be a Pet Owner?

Consider these factors when making your decision.
As exciting as the decision of getting a pet seems, it can also be intimidating with the ever increasing variety of pets and services available. Here’s what Carissa Williamson, DVM, veterinarian at Oakwood Pet Clinic, recommends potential pet owner consider before committing to a furry friend.
Home Size
People considering a pet should determine the type based on whether they have “the right environment.” Housing sizes should be kept compatible with sizes of the pets, Williamson says.

Economic Costs
“For example, dogs are generally more expensive than cats in terms of upkeep,” Williamson explains. “Although both need a wellness check once a year and vaccination on a regular basis, dogs also require procedures such as a monthly heart worm prevention and more grooming.” She recommends buying pet insurance to help deal with the maintenance costs.

Time Commitment
If you work 10 hours a day, a cat may be more suitable because dogs are typically more active and sociable while cats tend to be more reclusive. Animals like fish, rats and hamsters require less attention, but they also don’t live as long, she says.

Who is the Pet Owner?
“Younger kids typically like to hold and grab things and they may want more sturdy pets like dogs or cats or rabbits while elderly people may not like pets with too many claws so cats may not be suitable,” Williamson says.

Experience the Pet

Despite all the advice, however, choosing a pet can still be a difficult task. Williamson recommends going to a pet store to actually experience petting the animals if that is allowed. “The Animal Humane Society at Golden Valley allows you to pet the animals there and it is a great place to get started,” she says.