Loving Family Pets
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Loving Family Pets- Information and Resources for Pet Owners

Whether they are furry, feathered, or have scales, pets are a part of families all over the world. As a long time pet owner of a variety of pets I have a few tips to offer. Understanding your pet will help you make your home a happy and healthy environment for everyone. There are several things you should consider before getting any pet.
  • You need to consider more than the initial cost of the pet. Think about the lifespan of the pet and the cost of food, bedding, and medical care. Just as with humans, unexpected circumstances arise and your pet may need emergency care. You may want to consider whether you should purchase pet health insurance. You will also need to provide your pet with toys or activities that may have a cost. It might seem silly, toys for pets, but every animal needs stimulation and activity in order to maintain good health. The ASPCA has a chart that estimates the cost of owning a pet. Click here to view it.
  • You all need to consider your living space. Is the space large enough to provide your pet with a comfortable space and area for exercise and activity? Larger pets, like dogs, require space for movement and activity. Unfortunately, lack of space and activity can lead to pet behavior problems which sometimes results in pets being surrendered to a shelter.
  • Consider your schedule. If you have a job that requires long working hours will you have time to spend with your pet? Pets need interaction and activity to stay healthy and stress free.
  • Do you have a "pet support system". You will need people who are willing to take on the responsibility of caring for your pet if you want to take a vacation or in the event of an emergency that takes you away from home. 
  • Finally, this is for parents thinking about getting a  pet for their children. Remember, you may be getting the pet for them but in reality, it's YOUR pet. Having a pet is a wonderful way for children to learn responsibility and a respect for life but remember,  they are kids. While you are teaching your child how to be a responsible pet owner, the bulk of the responsibility for caring for the pet will be placed on the adults in the family.
Timing is also an important consideration when getting a pet. Getting a pet during the holidays is not usually a good idea. Holidays can be busy and sometimes stressful for the pet.

Getting a pet is a big responsibility. After all, you will be caretaker to another living thing that will be depending on you. Purchasing or adopting a pet should never be done on impulse. No matter how cute they are, potential pet owners should do their research and think carefully before getting a new pet. Before purchasing a pet consider adopting one from a local humane society or shelter. Unfortunately, there are too many people who get a pet and later find out that they are not able to properly provide for and care for the it and the pet ends up in  a shelter. These pets need a loving, caring home.  Your local shelter can also assist you in determining which pet is best for you.
It's important to really do your research to determine what might be the best pet for your situation. Pets can add so much to a person's life. Hopefully, you will find information here about pet care and supplies that will help you on your way to making your pet a happy and healthy member of your family.
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