How many times have you passed by a pet shop window and not thought – even for just a second – about buying that adorable kitten or puppy playing in the window. Well, many of us think about it, but unfortunately, too many people do it without considering the consequences of that spur of the moment decision.
First, many of the homes of pets bought on the spur of the moment just aren’t prepared for the sudden arrival of 5-20 pounds of fluffy pet who will suddenly be having accidents and potentially chewing on anything that hasn’t been puppy-proofed yet. Before you buy a pet, you should have your house set up, such as a litter box in place and a soft bed or kennel where the dog can sleep.
Secondly, there are logistics to deal with that can impact the entire family. Who will walk the new puppy? Be responsible for obedience training? Who will pooper-scoop or clean the litter box? Who will be responsible for feeding the pet? These are all things that should be discussed beforehand, because more often than not, a young – and not entirely responsible – child will agree to anything on the spot in a pet store, just to get to take home the fluff ball of a pet he or she fell in love with.
Research breed specifics before buying. Some dogs are better with children than others. Some need more exercise while others are content to sleep in the window all day long. Some cats are more prone to scratching furniture, even when a scratch post is available. So these are all things to consider.
Lastly, think about the pet. Will this pet be happy living in your household? Because unfortunately, the SPCA is filled with pets that people thought they’d be able to take care of, when in reality, they were too ill equipped and were forced to give the pet up. So make sure that new pet is the best choice not only for your family, but for the pet too.