How do I choose the puurfect pet?
There are a few main points to consider before you buy your new animal; they can be broken down into three essential requirements—budget, space and time.
Some animals cost a lot more than others, that’s common knowledge, so before you jump in and buy the biggest, most expensive, adorable pet imaginable, consider whether you can afford them. If you’re buying the pet for your child, maybe a hamster or a rabbit might be more appropriate for your budget. Consider the size of your animal: if a particular breed requires a lot of care and medical attention—these are inevitably going to cost more, so ensure you factor this into your thinking.
Different types of pets require varying amounts of living space so determine whether or not you have enough room before throwing a pet into the mix. Do you have enough space to accommodate your animal of choice? An Alsatian is unlikely to be happy in a small, one-bed flat without a garden. For a first-time homeowner, an animal that requires less space might work better. Do your research; consider if your environment is right for pet ownership. The animal’s happiness is important—unsuitable living spaces could affect their health in the long term.
Finally; time. Consider how much time you’re going to be able to spend with your pet. Dogs require a lot of attention and thrive on being around others. While cats like the company, they’re more independent creatures and won’t pine as much from being on their own if you have to work late on a few occasions. If you live alone and don’t spend much time at home, a dog might not be ideal for you.
How do I keep my pet happy and healthy?
Food bowls, litter trays, baskets and various toys are all important in entertaining your new pet. If you’re bringing a young furry friend home, make sure all wires, furnishings and any other items you don’t want chewed up are out of the way.
Vaccinations will be an important step in protecting your new animal from disease—this is especially true for cats and dogs. At six to eight weeks both animals will require a series of vaccinations including, but not limited to: Kennel Cough, Parvovirus, Hepatitis, Rabies, FeLV (feline leukemia virus) and Chlamydophila. It’s important to book these vaccinations quickly and ask any questions you might have, as young animals have yet to build up a healthy immune system. Dogs and cats will require top-up injections annually and may need regular flee and worm treatments—make sure you’re factoring these into your budget and calendar.
In the early stages, allowing your pet to get used to their new surroundings is key. Leave them enough time to get used to you before they start exploring the big wide world—for dogs, this might be a quick walk around the area; for a cat, simply being let out into the garden.
Day-to-day pet care isn’t too complicated once you create a routine, so establish one early on. Know whose job it is to feed the cat in the morning when they come crying at your bedroom door, or who gets the pleasure of the late-night dog walk. This will benefit both you and your pet. Remember: making your pet aware of the time of day they get fed will relinquish some of the begging for food (or play) and will get you into the habit of taking regular care of them.
Do I need insurance?
Insurance is likely going to be critical to your pets’ health. It’s no secret that vets can be incredibly expensive; finding an insurance plan for potential future illness is key.
Pet insurance can cover various issues from pet loss or theft, injury, illness or death, treatment for behavioural problems, and in dogs’ cases—liability cover. If your dog decides to be somewhat of a nuisance and causes damage or harm to a person or place, insurance may cover some of these damages.
There are a wide variety of different deals on offer, so it’s best to use comparison sites and shop around a little. Before you begin, make sure you know the maximum amount of cover your insurance will provide towards vets’ fees. Once again, take your pet into consideration when investigating this—the price can vary substantially depending on what animal you own.
There are a few attributes that pet owners should be aware of that may affect both the premium and the difficulty of finding a good insurance deal. Firstly, the age of your pet. The older your pet is, the higher the price is likely to be as you are considerably more likely to make a claim. The same applies if your pet has a pre-existing condition. If you’re swapping insurance policies but have previously taken a claim out, this is a strong indicator that your premium might shoot up.
To find out more about pet care visit Celebrity Angels