Choosing a family pet is a big deal, especially if you are becoming first time pet owners. There are many factors to consider when deciding what pet best fits your family.
How much space do you and your family have? If you don’t have a lot, you could consider a small fish tank, hamster cage, or turtle. For more space, you could consider a cat for your new family pet. Dogs do take up the most space so you will want to make sure you have enough room for a crate if you plan to crate train and plenty of yard space for bigger dogs.
How much time and effort are you and your family planning on committing to your new pet? A turtle, bird, or hamster do not require potty training, learning tricks, or very much attention whereas a dog or cat will require a lot of attention, time, grooming, and teaching.
Who will be the primary caregiver of your new pet? If you are wanting to teach your children responsibility and they are old enough you will want to start with something simple such as a hamster especially if you have young children in the house. A dog, especially bigger ones, are intimidating for younger kids. If you go with a dog then consider a smaller breed. If you plan to be the primary caregiver, remember to access the level of commitment you can offer the animal.
Some animals cost more than others to keep and care for. A dog is almost always going to be the most expensive. To reduce the cost of vet bills, consider buying a breed that has minimal problems, and possibly spending the extra upfront money to get a dog from a breeder could save you hundreds of dollars down the road. A turtle, fish, hamster, and bird will need specialized cages and food, but their food is cheaper than a dogs and they eat less.
You will want to make sure no one in your family is allergic to animals before you invest in one. Cat and dog allergies are most common. The good news is that there are dog and cat breeds that are less allergenic. If you find someone in your family has an allergy you could go with something like a lizard, turtle, or hamster.
Happy pet shopping.