Nothing compares to a pet’s loyalty and companionship. Their unconditional love provides many physical and mental benefits, and a pet can enrich your family’s life for years to come. However, a pet is a lifelong commitment, and you must carefully consider your adoption decision, such as the pet type that best fits with your family. Our Neighborhood Veterinary Centers of Waller team shares the questions you need to mull over when choosing the right pet for you and your family. 

Do you have experience caring for a pet?

Your pet care experience level should influence your decision-making process. If this will be your first pet, you should ensure you have the skills and experience to meet their needs. Some pet breeds require a more experienced owner who understands their behaviors, and has the time and ability to care for them. 

What pet species would best fit your family?

Many different pet species are available. However, in this blog post, we are focusing on dogs and cats. Learn about each species’ pros and cons:

  • Dog adoption pros — Dogs are loveable, loyal, social creatures who come in many sizes and temperaments. Whether you’re looking for an active breed or a breed that is great with kids, dogs make wonderful companions.
  • Dog adoption cons — Dogs tend to be more high maintenance than cats. They need to be socialized to become well-adjusted adult dogs, and they need to be walked and fed several times a day. Dogs can also be expensive and generally require more costly veterinary care. 
  • Cat adoption pros — Cats can also make great companions and family pets. They are litter box trained and don’t need to be walked. They tend to need less attention than dogs, and older cats are usually not as energetic. Because they do not require a lot of space, cats are also good for people living in small homes.
  • Cat adoption cons — Cats are generally lower maintenance than dogs, but they still need to be fed daily, and their litter box needs to be cleaned frequently. Cats also require daily playtime to keep them mentally and physically engaged.

Do you have the financial resources to care for a pet?

Adopting a pet requires a financial commitment. When considering which pet is right for your family, ask yourself if you have the financial resources for supplies, food, veterinary care, and ongoing health costs (e.g., vaccinations, flea, tick, and heartworm prevention.)  Some pets may have special needs that may require additional costs, so consider the amount you can afford to spend on your pet, and whether you are willing and able to provide special veterinary care and other pet-related expenses. 

How much time will you be able to devote to your pet?

In addition to a financial commitment, pets also require a time commitment. Evaluate your current lifestyle and time constraints to determine how much time you have to devote to a pet. Do you work long hours or travel frequently? Some pets need more frequent exercise or feeding, and might not be the right fit for a family who spends a lot of time away from home. 

What energy level are you looking for in your pet?

If you and your family are active and take many outdoor adventures, you may want to consider a young, fit, active pet who is able to handle strenuous exercise. If your family prefers light exercise, you may consider a less energetic breed or an older pet.

Do you have children?

Consider your family’s makeup when considering the right pet. Puppies and young dogs can be too enthusiastic and rambunctious for young children. Cats or middle-aged, well trained pets are typically more appropriate if you have young children in the household. In addition, an outgoing, good-natured pet is a good match for kids, or if you plan to add to your family. Not all pet breeds are child-friendly, so research various breeds to learn about their temperament and to determine if they are suitable for a family with children. 

Our Neighborhood Veterinary Centers of Waller team is here to support all your new pet’s veterinary needs. To ensure you start your new pet on the path to health and happiness, schedule their veterinary visit soon after introducing them to your family and your home.