Becoming a new pet parent can be very exciting! But there are many things you need to think about before you bring a them home - regardless of species.  We strongly advise that this should be a planned event and not as a result of a impulse purchase.  A responsible pet owner will want to keep their pet friendly, healthy and happy so planning is required.

Firstly consider your own lifestyle before you decide to take on a pet.  Ask yourself the following questions ...
  • How much time do you have to devote to its care? 
  • Does your long term life plan take into consideration the age of your pet?
  • Who is the pet for and what level of responsibility will they be expected to give?
  • Does the pet you are considering need to live with one of its own?
  • Will the pet need more time invested when you get them initially, e.g. a puppy will need more commitment than perhaps an adult dog in terms of training commitments
  • Do you have the appropriate indoor and outdoor space for your pet’s needs? 
  • If you travel or are away a lot who will care for your pet? 
  • Do you have children, and if so how will your pet fit in with them? 
  • Are you looking for a pet that is independent and requires less human contact or one that is affectionate and enjoys human company? 
  • Are you in good health and able to care for a pet? 
Considering the average lifespan of the pet you are taking on is really important. Small animals may only live for a few years, but cats for example can easily live to the age of 20 and some tortoise as much as 70 years.

Whichever animal you choose, it’s a serious and usually long-term commitment. They will need daily commitment and will be completely reliable on you to provide its welfare needs. Think about the future and whether the pet you have chosen will still suit you in the years to come. You will need to consider the costs of taking on a pet, e.g.

Initial set up costs such as:
  • The cost of re-homing or purchasing your pet
  • Suitable safe accommodation
  • Bedding, bowls and bottles
  • Other essentials such as collars and leads and toys
  • Training aids

One-off costs at the time of purchase, including:
  • Veterinary examination and if required primary vaccinations
  • Microchipping
  • Neutering

Annual costs:
  • Booster vaccinations
  • Annual health checks
  • Boarding fees
  • Unexpected vets fees (i.e. though accidents, injury or illness)

Monthly costs: 
  • Pet insurance
  • Parasite treatments (e.g. flea, tick and worm prevention depending on the species)
  • Bedding (for small or field animals)
  • Professional grooming
  • Training fees

Daily costs:
  • Your time 
  • Food

Further Resources:
We can recommend the 'Pet Detective Series' written by vet Emma Miles - separate books cover dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and small fur rodents.  She has also written 'Picking a Pedigree' which is useful for would be dog owners.
There is a wealth of information on the internet.  But choose reputable sites.  The Dogs Trust, Cats Protection, RSPCA, PDSA, Blue Cross, icatcare, Rabbit Welfare Association are great sites depending on the species you are looking into.  

Whichever animal you choose, it’s not a responsibility to be taken lightly. We offer free PRE-PURCHASE CONSULTATIONS with a member of our nursing team.  Let us help you find the right pet for your family, ring us on 01376 325511.