Yesterday, as part of our new Kind Club, we visited an animal shelter. The full story for that will be published on Saturday as part of the new Kind Club linky, but as a separate post I thought it would be worth talking about choosing our pets and perhaps listing a few things to consider.
Bringing a pet into your home is a big decision and not one that should be made quickly. Firstly, consider why you’d like a pet. If it’s just because the kids keep pestering for one it’s probably not a good idea. The person to whom the resposibility for the pet would fall should be the one to make the final decision.
The main thing to consider when getting a pet is how much time you can realistically commit to that animal. In this post I’ve taken a look at different pets and what you should be aware of when buying them.
I love dogs; they’re my favourite pet. Our dog Betsy is just as much a part of our family as the kids. She takes up almost as much time, too. Dogs need walking – a lot! Betsy is a border collie so she has oodles of evergy and needs walking three times a day on average. Some days, my husband takes her rambling and she loves it. She’s always up for another walk though, even after that. Dogs aren’t for those with weak stomachs either – there’s a lot of poo to pick up!
Another thing you need to consider with dogs is how you will take care of their emotional well-being. Dogs are really sensitive animals and you need to have endless patience when introducing a dog into your home. From house training accidents to sleepless nights, you need to be in it for the long haul. It takes longer than a couple of weeks for a dog to feel ‘at home’.
We also pay for Betsy to be groomed on a regular basis. This helps to reduce dropped hair around the house and also to keep her smelling fresh. The smell of ‘dog’ when you walk into someone’s house is not pleasant! (Incidentally, we use Oh My Dog in Radcliffe, North Manchester. Lucy and Rob are absolutely brilliant with Betsy and although their appointments get booked up quickly, it’s well worth the wait. They will even collect and return your dog within reasonable distances. Betsy LOVES going there!)
Now, we have a cat, but he’s pretty much an outdoor cat. He comes home for food and a small amount of fuss but then is gone again for hours on end. Indoor cats require a lot more attention and can be quite fussy about their litter trays, which should be cleaned very regularly. I prefer the type of cat litter box that has a lid because they’re maginally less messy!
Fish are an excellent first pet, in my opinion. You feed them and clean them out and that’s pretty much it. They don’t want constant petting, they don’t try to trip you up by doing figure of eights around your feet and they don’t beg for food. They’re pretty to look at and relaxing to watch. Fish tanks of all sizes and designs are on offer these days so even their habitat will fit perfectly into your home. All Pond Solutions do some really lovely ones. Unlike most other pets, you can even go on holiday and leave your fish at home. You just need to add a food block in most cases.
We are reptile fans in our house and have kept snakes and a chameleon in the past. Sadly, we lost our veiled chameleon Heidi (Peep) earlier this year, but she was the star of the house for everyone who visited. Aside from dogs, reptiles probably need the most care. Live food needs to be fed to them regularly, fresh water sprayed into their habitat, a constant drip of drinking water needs to be replenshed each day and their lamps and heat mats switched on and off at the correct times each day. You can’t go away for the weekend and leave a chameleon to fend for itself, that’s for sure!
Rabbits, hamsters and guinea pigs have always been popular pets. Kept in cages for the most part, they need cleaning out on a regular basis and feeding daily. Fresh water also needs to be provided daily too. Small pets like these can be another good way to introduce children to the idea of responsibility. We’ve had mice and a hamster, but really we prefer the bigger pets!
I’d love for you to tell me what pets you have? Why is your pet the best?