You’ve made the decision to add a furry family member to your home. Great! But, now what? Choosing the right pet requires some thought. We’ve got a few questions that will help you to select the right pet for your lifestyle.
How Active Are You?
Are you up at the crack of dawn for your daily run, or do you struggle to remember the last time you broke a sweat? If regular physical activity is part of your lifestyle, you’re great match for an active dog breed like a Vizsla, Husky, or Labrador retriever. Prefer cozying up on the couch? Consider a cat or a slower-paced breed of dog, like a Bichon Frise, Shih Tzu, or Pekingese.
How Often Do You Travel?
If you travel regularly for work or pleasure, that doesn’t necessarily rule out a pet. While dogs will need to be boarded or cared for by a trusted sitter, cats can generally be left alone for a day or two with adequate food, water, and litter, or visited by a petsitter every 1-2 days. Other pet options, like guinea pigs, rabbits, and birds, can be left in the home while you travel, provided you have a friend or sitter visiting to feed and check in on them each day.
Does Anyone in the Home Have Allergies?
Millions of Americans suffer from allergies. Unless you have a very severe case, it’s not something that should eliminate the possibility of having a pet. There are certain animals you’ll want to avoid, like long-haired cats. See our top ten suggestions for allergy-friendly pets here.
How Much Time Do You Have?
If you work full-time and have several young kids, house-breaking a puppy might not be the best challenge to add to your plate. If your life doesn’t leave time for a lot of training, senior dogs and retired service dogs are an excellent option to consider.
What Kind of Companion Do You Prefer?
Do you want a pet who’s always by your side, or would you prefer one with a little more independence? While plenty of cats like to cuddle, they also like their personal space and enjoy regular alone time. Dogs, on the other hand, are happiest when spending time with their master.
To Get One, or More?
It’s an oft-asked question from new pet owners—should I get two, so they have each other’s company? If your household, budget, and schedule can accommodate two pets, bringing home a pair is a great idea and will often ease your mind about leaving the house for several hours. But if you’ve never had a pet before or are hesitant that it may be overwhelming, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with having an “only pet child”. Make up for the time they spend alone by giving your solo pet lots of attention when you are home.
Good luck, and congratulations on your choice to welcome a new member of the family!