Thinking about getting a new dog or cat? It’s always so exciting deciding on a new family pet for the household and looking at puppies or kittens.
I know when we got our last new puppy it was super exciting for the both of us, as we already had a 7 year old dog at home but knew that we wanted to get her a friend. So the hunt began and it took us about 2 months to finally decide, but we found a wonderful breeder that was local to us and she kept us on her list. Once the new litter was born she sent us pictures and we were the first ones to be able to choose our new little girl. We were instantly in love with Lucy and that’s when the journey of a new dog began.
But before you rush to get your next pet, it’s important to take a second, slow down and really assess if this is the best time for you and your family. Pets are a lifetime commitment and, even though you can’t predict the future, it’s important that you make sure you can always care for them well.
What You Need to Take Into Account Before Getting a New Dog or Cat
Pets take up a lot of time. Especially puppies and kittens as you need to give them a lot of attention, create a routine with them early on and make sure you are training them consistently so they learn the ropes (bathroom breaks, walks, feeding time etc.)
And that’s not considering the amount of time it will take to get your new pet acclimated to your home!
- A new pet will need time to learn the new environment. Pet proofing a home that doesn’t have a pet is an important one to consider.
- A new pet will need time to adjust to a routine. Your new pet will need to learn to trust and then also learn to follow your lead and the flow of the household.
- A new pet will need time to get to know each family member and become comfortable with other pets or children. I know when we brought home our puppy she had to learn how to act around her big sister and respect her boundaries so that our eldest dog could get used to her being around. It definitely takes some time for that adjustment to
Buying a dog costs money, whether you’re adopting or not. You’ll also need to invest in some basic equipment and necessities. For example, a new dog will need a bed, a crate, toys, dog food dishes, treats and bones, blankets, collars and leashes, and pee pad training mats. Expect to spend at least around $200-$300 for all these necessities when starting out.
You’ll also need to budget monthly for their caretaking. Food, toys, groomers, vets…they all cost money. I spend about $100 a month maintaining my 2 pups at home from food to treats and the occasional vet visits.
If you don’t have extra money to spare at the end of the money, can you really afford another pet?
Even the best behaved, cuddly furball will require some extra TLC and patience from their new human! Kittens and puppies generally have more energy than adult cats and dogs, so you’ll need to consider your pet’s age and energy levels before committing to them.
We all know life can be stressful. If you’re new on a job, about to move, or going through any other major life event that increases your stress levels, you might not have the patience to train or bond with a new pet. And that’s okay!
Catering to individual needs
Every pet is unique. When I first got Lucy, I was surprised when she was a very hyper and anxious eater. I had to quickly adapt to her excitement and do my best to find ways to calm her down when it came to feeding time. She was also a lot more energetic then my other dog at home so had to adjust to spending more time with her outdoors to get her energy out.
Some pets need regular, professional grooming. Others don’t. Some pets will need to be walked 3+ times a day. Others don’t. Some pets have medical conditions that must be consistently monitored. Others don’t.
Finding the right service provider—whether a pet groomer, or dog walker—it’s good to consider your prospective pet’s needs and find folks to help you in advance of bringing your new pet home. Many providers have waitlists, so good to get ahead!
Is there extra living space inside and outside your home? Different species and breeds need different amounts of space, and younger pets often need more room to play than the sleepier, cuddlier older pets.
Before choosing a new pet consider, where they will play, go to the bathroom, relax and hang out. It’s a good idea to research which types of pets might do best with what you have available.
When you choose to take on a new pet, your life will never be the same again! This can be an amazing thing, but it can also be stressful at times. Consider your level of commitment to what it will take to keep your pet happy and healthy – and the lifestyle changes you’d like to make and those you’d rather not. For instance, people who like to stay out late or travel a lot need to consider a pet sitter or find locations that allows dogs to come with you. It’s important to consider the sizing of the dogs too as all of this can impact your life as a whole.
With all of this to consider, it’s still so exciting to bring on a new pet and enjoy the extra dog snuggles or play time fun you will get to experience with them as they grow comfortable with you. Being a dog mom with have that constant companion by your side is such a nice feeling.
How did you know it was the right time for a new pet? Let me know below!