If you are you thinking of adding a pet to your household, consider these 3 questions before you do.

  1. Do I have the appropriate space?
    Have a Marmaduke heart, but a chihuahua-sized yard?  Sometimes tough decisions have to be made in the best interest of your family and the pet you want to get.  Evaluate the space you have and the comfort (and exercise) your prospective pet may need.   
  2. Do I have the time?
    Obviously some pets need more care.  Younger dogs need training.  Some cats and dogs have anxiety issues if left alone for too long.  If you have little time to spare on housetraining or taking walks, maybe a less time intensive pet, such as a fish, is the route to explore first.
  3. What about when we travel?
    This is a real kicker.  If you are a weekend travel warrior, you’ve got to consider how your new best friend will travel.  Will you ask a neighbor to check on the fish, can the pet travel with you, or will you have the funds to pay for a boarding facility?  Keep in mind your destination may not welcome all pets, so plan in advance.

Another couple of tips as you make the decision: Have a discussion about responsibilities and expectations before the decision to add to the family is made.

It’s best that the decision is a group one.  Fear, allergies, or just not hitting it off with a pet can cause some tension in the home – making it an unfavorable fit for everyone. 

Lastly, check out rescue pets – private and county animal shelters are filled this time of year with good dogs and cats that need a good home.