We’re all aware by now that pets can be really good for our mental (and even physical health). And the Benefits of Pet Therapy are undeniable. But when considering having or getting a new pet, there are a number of things to consider.
3 important factors when thinking about owning pets
It’s a given that all living things need appropriate and adequate food for their nutritional needs. In this day and age of pet food delivery, such as Chewy provides, getting it to the home isn’t the issue. Being able to afford and buy sufficient amounts of the right food is one of the largest factors in determining if your home is ready for pets. In order to avoid medical issues, the pet-appropriate, good quality (not “human”) food needs to be available for your fur (fin, scale or feather) baby.
24/7 access to water
It should go without saying, but is a basic necessity of all living creatures, that they have access to clean, fresh water, on-demand. Pets cannot be expected to drink from sinks or toilets and should have a water dish that is changed daily, that is located away from their food dish.
Proper shelter and temperature control
Providing shelter to an animal who we love and loves us is imperative. Sometimes people think they can just feed a neighborhood cat and it will be “theirs”. But think of the scorching summer days and rainy (or snowy) winter nights of weather that an outdoor animal has to endured.
If you have an animal that you take care of (even if they remain an outdoor pet), providing them a safe shelter from the elements is critical.
Safe place to sleep
Veterinarians and animal psychologists would argue that Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs applies to animals as well as to humans. The most basic of all needs is safety and there might not be a more important time for safety than during sleep.
Even domestic animals like pets need to feel safe while they sleep and providing this for a new pet is imperative to their health.
Whether it’s walking, playing or flying around the house, every type of pet needs some physical exercise. For animals like dogs, this means they have to walk, run, play fetch, even if it’s only a few minutes a day. An indoor cat, may do well with playing with cat toys through the home.
Even small, low-maintenance animals like hamsters or birds need daily exercise to remain healthy. Being able to provide exercise opportunities for your pet is very important.
Access to clean bathroom
All creatures eliminate waste. Having a clean place to use the bathroom is crucial to health and the minimizing of future risk of disease. Dogs need to go outside, cats need at least one litterbox (per cat in the home) and all other creatures such as hamsters, birds, lizards and even snakes need their waste area kept clean on a daily basis.
This refers to the pet’s ability to have healthy interactions, with adults, children and other animals. Have you ever seen a dog on a leash who is behaving aggressively with another dog? This comes from appropriate socialization skills (or the lack of them).
Some puppies need training classes, while others don’t. Some kittens need to be actively held while they’re young, to understand that human affection and touching is pleasant and not unknown and scary. Being able to help (especially a young) pet socialize with their new family or owner is a lifelong investment.
Regular human interaction and affection
Once pets are socialized, maintaining a loving, affectionate relationship is as good for them as it is for you. Every creature needs love and pets are no exception! Playing, cuddling and overall care for them will go a long way in keeping them healthy and happy.
Additional care costs
Regular veterinary visits, immunizations, medicine, etc.
All living beings should have access to proper health care and our pets are no exceptions. Even regular vet bills can be surprisingly large, but add to that possible immunizations, medications or follow-up visits and these bills can be a little daunting. Being financially able to provide for your pet’s healthcare is a prerequisite for owning a pet.
The ASPCA offers pet health insurance for those unexpected vet bills that may crop up. There are also numerous competitors that offer these policies as well; if you’re considering a new pet, it’s certainly worth doing a little more research.
Proper grooming isn’t just for image, it’s actually has a health impact on many animals. Clipping nails, the right type of haircut (for the weather, for example), oral care, flea and tick control/maintenance are all impactful on your pet’s health.
Regular grooming can prevent certain pets from getting skin conditions or ear and eye infections or any number of other medical conditions that could cost more money down the line.
With any pet, there are always miscellaneous costs that arise, that one must be financially prepared to take on. These costs could include a surprise visit to the vet, making sure they have pet-appropriate toys, a comfy bed and care arrangements such as boarding if you are going to be away from home.
If you’ve determined that you’re ready and able to care for pets and maybe even bring one into your home, then have a read here to help decide what kind of pet might be right for you.
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Do you have questions about how you can better support your loved one while they age in place in South Florida or regarding homecare in general? Please contact CareGivers of America here: Contact or call us toll free: 800-342-4197
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*No information in this article is to be taken as advice, medical or otherwise. This post is not sponsored, but may contain external links to websites, articles or product examples. External links are used for example or reference purposes only and these links do not indicate specific product or website endorsement by CareGivers of America.