Baby pets are lovely, but before you decide to bring a pet into your home, keep in mind that it will be another family member. You must be very aware of your circumstances and analyze which is the most suitable animal depending on its needs and what you want and can give it. It does not necessarily have to be a dog; other species can get along with children and adapt to your space.
Basic questions before having a pet
According to Dr. Fausto Reyes Delgado, director of the UNAM-Banfield Veterinary Hospital, before acquiring a pet, it is essential to answer the following questions, preferably with the help of a veterinarian.
- Do you all agree?
- What do I want a pet for?
- How much time am I going to spend on it?
- Is there space in my house?
- Do I have money to cover its needs?
Reaching consensus: Do you all agree?
Although children are always the ones who insist on having a pet, we must remember that the responsibility for the pet rests with the adult.
“Those who have to be responsible are the adults, not the child. The child has to play; he has to learn. The adult has to educate the child on the care of his pet and mark how far he can and how far he cannot interact with it,” says Dr. Reyes.
If any family member does not agree with having a pet, it is best to think twice as it could be a source of conflict.
Why do you want a pet?
According to the specialist, 50% of the dogs and cats kept at home are out of habit, not because they are wanted. A pet is a permanent commitment, so before assuming that responsibility, ask yourself why you want it,
“Almost always, the first options are dogs or cats, but if you analyze the questions well, you may realize that a fish or a cat is better for you. If you want to have a dog, go ahead, but why do you want it?” points out the expert.
Do you want a dog that gets along well with children? There are breeds that do not do. Do you need a vigorous animal with which you can go running? You should also see which one is right and its size or temper.
Your pet must be adaptable to your way of being. If you are an active family that goes out to the countryside, a dog is ideal. If you like to watch movies at home, a cat will be delighted to be with you.
Taking into account the expectations you have as a family is also essential. A dog gives you security; fish tanks can be very relaxing. You can determine all this by answering the simple question: Why do you want a pet?
How much time are you going to dedicate to the pet?
Pets need your care, so choosing according to the time you can dedicate to them is highly recommended. Primarily, dogs require a lot of attention. Consider walks, play, affection, physical activity, and education. Many fall into a deep depression from being home alone all day. Cats require less care. If you don’t spend much time at home, turtles or fish may be better.
Is there room at home?
Each animal has specific needs and its own living space. If you want to adopt a dog, you need an appropriate place, even for the smallest breeds. If you live in a very small apartment, it may be better for you to choose a fish. Cats adapt better, but they need enough toys not to get bored; besides, they may scratch furniture and doors if they don’t have a scratching post.
How much can I invest in my pet?
In Mexico, pet owners invest an average of 1,407 pesos per month, with the most significant expense being food with 505 pesos and the veterinarian with 332 pesos. You have to consider that at the beginning, the cost can be higher, around 4 thousand pesos, because you must apply vaccines, dewormers, general check-ups, medicine in case of illness, and sterilization surgery if you wish.
Choose the ideal pet
It is usually the first choice as a pet. They are loyal, affectionate, tender, and one of the greatest sources of happiness for many people. They are social animals; they seek human company. They need attention and care.
- You must take them out for a walk.
- They require space.
- Diet suitable for its size.
- Vet visits.
- They can’t spend much time alone because they get very sad.
- You have to educate, brush and bathe them regularly.
They require less care than dogs; that is why many families opt for one, although they are not the most recommended for children because they are very independent animals that must be treated gently. When they don’t want to play, you don’t have to insist because they don’t tolerate rough treatment.
Most cats like being able to go outside, but this doesn’t mean they enjoy going for walks as dogs do. Instead, they love to go out and explore gardens, terraces, or patios. They move in three-dimensional spaces; they like to climb high places and have places to hide.
They need space. Cats make a clear differentiation among places of rest, feeding, elimination, and play. They should not be mixed.
They require special food, water, a litter box, a scratching post, and toys.
They are furry, funny, and cute and have floppy ears, but they also need care.
They need a complete and varied diet. Fresh vegetables, leaves, and herbs, zero candy. Their cage should be large; they need space to move and go out at least two hours a day to exercise.
You can put some hay or straw as a cage but be careful with wood chips because some types can irritate. They are sensitive to heat waves, so you should not leave them exposed to the sun for a long time. You have to cut their claws regularly because they can hurt themselves or their owners.
Turtles and fish. Aquatic pets love quiet and don’t like to be touched, but you can admire their beauty. Observing their swim provides peace of mind and is an excellent therapy to calm cravings.
The most common aquatic pets are goldfish, Chinese neon, red-eared sliders, guppy fish, and aquatic frogs.
Among their needs is a fish tank with a filter, a water pump, a heater with a thermostat, and decorative elements for them to hide. They also require special food, soothing drops, and regular cleaning.
Examples of rodents such as hamsters, mice, gerbils, and guinea pigs are “pocket pets.” They are so-called because they are tiny and require less care than other pets.
They require a cage with a feeder, waterer, and adequate space to move and exercise. Exercise wheels and gyms are great sources of activity. Rodents love to nibble, so you should have gnawing toys and accessories.
They are relatively inexpensive but consider additional feed, accessory, and vet costs.