People with pets tend to have a better health, and visit doctor less frequently. They also tend to report less mental health problems like anxiety or depression.

It is hard to imagine anything in the world that can compare with the sheer joy and excitement of holding your pet for the first time, or hearing your dog run to greet you as you open your front door and turn the key. There is absolutely no doubt that pets bring a lot of joy in our lives. There's science that also backs this up. Usually, people with pets tend to have a better health, and visit doctor less frequently. They also tend to deal with the grief better and report less mental health problems like anxiety or depression.

While it is a very happy moment to bring a pet home, however one must also understand that it is a huge responsibility and commitment as it becomes a part of your life and family for the next 15-20 years. Whether one choose to adopt a dog or a cat, providing that animal with the best care, is an important aspect to be deemed before one consider becoming a pet parent. Different animals, of course have different needs and requirements.

Things to be considered while choosing a pet

Here are few top factors those one must consider before bringing the pet home

  • How long will you be out of your home? Do you travel a lot or work long hours? Some pets like dogs need more frequent walks, exercising or feeding, and might not be good choice for the owners who are away from home for a longer period of time.
  • Who will take care of your pet in your absence? Check out if there is a pet walking service available around your home or if there is anybody who you can rely on to take care of your pet or baby sit the pet when you are away.
  • Owning a pet come with an added expense, so before adopting an animal one must think it through if they can afford the cost of caring for the pet. Some breeds of pets may have special requirements that may add up some additional cost. Taking into account what your pet may need for food, accommodation, exercise, grooming and veterinary care, and be sure that it is affordable for you, and is willing to spend that much.
  • In the future, could your living situation change in a way that would prevent you from keeping your pet? Consider what you will do with your pet if your situation changes. You are making a lifelong commitment to that pet.
  • When considering large breed dogs like St. Bernard, Siberian Husky, etc. keep in mind their temperament as well as the personality of your household. Many animals inherit the temperament of their parents. Different breeds of dogs and cats were developed for various uses. Matching the correct breed to your lifestyle is important for the happiness of your family and the animal.
  • Almost all animals sold in pet shops come from large scale commercial breeders. These animals are usually stressed and perhaps, may have health problems too. If you do a little research, you will be able to find a responsible hobby breeder or rescue organization for just about any popular pet.

Every animal is unique in its own way and will need different amount of food, healthcare, exercise and attention. One can add a new member after proper research and consideration and enjoy the joy and happiness for year to come.

The article is written by Dr Nanjundappa (BVSc & AH), Vet Physician & Surgeon, V-Care Pet Polyclinic, Bengaluru

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