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Guest Post: First-Time Pet Owners: Four Things to Consider When Choosing the Right Pet for You

Deciding to bring in a new addition to the family can be a very exciting time. Pets provide us with an immeasurable amount of joy, but there is such a thing as picking the wrong pet, and there are many decisions you’ll have to make when deciding what kind of pet to adopt. 

Every kind of pet comes with their own pros and cons. It’s important to closely consider which pet is best suited for your home, yard, and overall personality of your family. Here are a few things to keep in mind when picking out your first pet. 

Your Health

Since you’ve never really owned a pet before, you might have not considered how owning a pet could affect your personal health. Pet allergies affect millions of Americans, and while you may not have felt sneezy when meeting a friend’s pet, it could be a different story when you have one living in your home. Once fur starts collecting on your clothes and furniture, you could be sneezing up a storm.

If you discover that you are allergic to cats or dogs, this doesn’t mean you cannot be a pet owner. Some breeds of dogs are known to hypoallergenic, meaning that they do not shed or are less likely to trigger your allergies. Alternatively, you could adopt a fur-free pet such as a reptile or a fish.

Your Home

The next thing you need to consider is which pet is best suited for your home. If you currently live in a small house or apartment, then you should probably steer clear of larger breeds of dogs that need a considerable amount of space to move around. Cats tend to do well in homes of any size, but a small space will collect cat hair quickly, meaning you’ll need to clean often. 

Your Work Schedule 

The next thing you should consider before adopting a pet is how much time you’ll be able to commit to being a responsible pet owner. Some pets require more attention than others. Fish, for instance, will be fine if you’re away at work for most of the day. Other animals such as dogs will need more attention. Being cooped up all day in the house can not only be boring for a dog, but unhealthy. If you want a dog but work a tight schedule, you might consider hiring a dog walker to give your pet some exercise during the day. 

Your Level of Patience 

Finally, it’s important to remember that it will take a little time for your new pet to become adjusted to its new environment. Likewise, you might find that it takes some time for you to become acquainted with your new companion. During this period, it’s important to bond with your pet as you both become comfortable with each other. Every animal is different, so this process will take longer with some pets than with others. Be patient. The more time you spend with your new pet, the more you will grow to know and love them as a member of your family.

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