Just like when a new baby arrives, your whole life changes when you get a new pet. Although undoubtably a blessing, it can take some getting used to adjusting to life with the addition of your new family member. It wouldn’t be realistic to say it’s all a bed of roses, and the commitment possibly does need a little bit more of a level-headed approach. You need to evaluate your current living conditions and the other role-players in your family before undertaking this big obligation.
Let’s review some of your options, and a few of the more practical nuances you need to consider:
Although the good things completely outweigh the bad, it’s a sobering thought to acknowledge that dogs will make everything in your house including your clothes, walls, floors and furniture look like an uglier version of what they previously looked like.
Far smaller, but also a furry friend, rabbits come in all shapes and sizes, like any animal, your fluffy bunny will give you reasons to adore him and reasons you regret getting him altogether. The reality is although delightful rabbits aren’t trainable, nor are they loyal. No matter how much you squeeze them and love them and feed them their favourite treats they are more likely to enjoy the company of other rabbits over you.
Anyone for a rat? Rats are highly intelligent, outgoing and make very communal pets, but they aren’t for everyone! Don’t go to the trouble of getting a rat as a pet if you are not prepared to, or are unable to spend abundant amounts of time stimulating it and giving it time outside of its cage, which just by the way will need to be cleaned weekly. Although inexpensive to purchase, a rat will most likely need some veterinary care at some point in their lives, so you need to be prepared for this.
If investing in a pet bird, be prepared to become your very own version of “Mrs Min,” as birds won’t take long to cover your floors in seeds, feathers, and shredded newspaper. Be ready for a loud cacophony, as birds sing when they want, talk when they want, and scream when they want. Something else to be aware of is birds bite when they’re frightened or startled, or even when they’re just plain moody. It’s a long-term investment as some larger birds can live up to eighty years, or longer. It’s no wonder some birds are written into a Will before the grandchildren!
Although some people would never consider sharing their home with a pot bellied pig, there are many people who are charmed by the aptitude of their grunting piggy’s. The average lifespan can be up to 20 years. They can be house trained, leash trained, and will learn a few tricks. Pigs are unrelenting in their quest for food. They can learn to open the fridge, cupboards, and pantry—wherever food may be lurking. They can become demanding, begging for food, and even getting aggressive with kids that have food. Pigs also "root" or dig/explore with their snouts and in doing so may overturn items in the house, including dustbins, and can disrupt the landscaping outside.
Who amongst us still doesn’t desperately want a horse of their very own? Horses require a tremendous amount of care and knowledge to survive and thrive. The first thing to consider is also the most boring — your finances. Just as with any animal, a horse needs food, shelter, water, medication and tools. Unless you plan on never going on holiday again, you’ll also need to factor in boarding or paying someone to care for your horse in your absence.
All is not lost though, the good outweighs the bad, and the ugly for that matter and just as Anatole France once said, "Until one has loved an animal a part of one's soul remains unawakened." On an emotional level, owning a pet can decrease depression, stress and anxiety; health-wise, it can lower your blood pressure, improve your immunity and even decrease your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Date Published: 18 June 2018