From companionship for life to health benefits like lowered blood pressure and combating stress, there are plenty of reasons to get a pet. It’s a unique bond and can provide us with emotional and psychological support. However, many responsibilities come with owning a pet and there are things you need to consider before taking one on.
When choosing a pet, you need to think about how they’ll fit into your lifestyle. For example, if you’re thinking of a dog, you need to consider that:
- they require a lot of time and commitment
- they should be taught commands such as ‘sit’ and ‘stay’ when they’re still young, so they can co-exist peacefully with us. This requires time and effort
- they need a lot of attention and love
- they need regular exercise. This may mean having to hire a dog walker if you work full-time.
- are more independent and more capable of looking after themselves
- require less attention than dogs.
There are also other things to take into consideration - for example, whether anyone in your family has allergies or if there are young children around. This will dictate the type of pet and breed you choose.
Ensuring you have sufficient financial support
There are many costs associated with being a pet owner, and it’s important to know you can support your pets financially.
Costs associated with animal care can include food, toys, training, grooming, routine vet care and, sometimes, emergency vet care. There are also optional costs such as neutering and vaccinating your pet, which you’ll need to consider as a responsible pet owner.
Ensuring your pet is identifiable
Microchipping your pet is key to being a responsible pet owner, as it ensures your pet is identifiable if lost and can help trace them back to you.
Don’t forget to keep your details up to date if you move to a new house or change your phone number. Also, we recommend that you place a name tag on your pet’s collar, with their name and your phone number on.
Providing preventative healthcare
Vaccinating your pet is crucial to preventing diseases such as cat flu, hepatitis and kennel cough. These are preventable diseases that can have devastating effects on your pets, and we always believe that prevention is better than cure.
However, preventative healthcare doesn't just include vaccinations – you should think about flea control and deworming, general health checks, and providing healthy food.
If you have a Medivet Healthcare Plan, this is all included in your plan, alongside puppy and kitten vaccination courses and annual booster vaccinations for dogs, cats, and rabbits.
Socialising, training, and exercising
Ensuring your pet gets enough exercise and training is key to keeping them fit, active and mentally stimulated. Some dogs may require more exercise and training than others, and your local Medivet practice will be able to advise you on how to prevent excess weight gain in cats and dogs. At some of our practices we also provide ‘puppy parties’, which provide you with an excellent opportunity to get your puppy to socialise with others.