Choosing a Pet to Fit Your Lifestyle

February 17, 2011

Have you been thinking of adding a pet to your household? If so, have you thought about how that pet will fit into your lifestyle? Would a dog or cat be best for your family? Would you be able to spend the time a pet requires?

Dogs must have exercise. Will you be able to walk your dog daily and provide him with the opportunity to burn calories, meet new people and improve his cardio-health? Choose the age of your new dog in relation to your own ability and willingness to provide him with the necessary exercise. Older dogs will move more slowly and won’t require as much activity in their daily lives.  If you are older and exercise less, please adopt an older dog that will shower you with love and affection.

If you travel frequently, will your new dog go with you? Dogs can certainly be boarded or a pet sitter can be brought in, but they are companion animals and need their humans with them. If you are away often and cannot take your dog along, please consider a less demanding pet.

Do you like cats? Do you find them fascinating to watch? Cats are independent creatures, do not require that daily walk and are relatively easy to care for. But if you dislike an animal lounging on your sofa and can’t tolerate cat hair on the upholstery, a cat may not be a good choice for you.  Cats do need affection and some attention from their owners, but they certainly require less from you than do dogs.

Cats can be left with a pet sitter for short trips, but they also get lonely and miss their owners. With a cat, you will have a litter box to clean daily, and the cat will need some play time with you. Cats love interaction with their owners using toys. Toys that dangle from a string and laser pen lights are fun and help keep kitty’s weight down.

Pet adoption is always better than buying an animal from a pet store.  Most pet store dogs or cats come from puppy mills or backyard breeders.  Don’t perpetuate those industries.  Adopt from your local animal shelter and save a life.

Ask yourself some serious questions about how a pet will fit into your way of life. A pet should enhance your lifestyle – not hinder it. A cat or dog should come into your home and immediately feel loved and cherished.


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