How to Find the Right Pet

Three Methods:Picking a Pet to Fit Your LifestyleChoosing the Right Pet For Your HomeMeeting the Perfect Pet

A pet can be a wonderful addition to your home. They provide amusement, comfort, and company. They can also be a great way to help teach your kids about responsibility. There are many types of pets to consider. Spend some time thinking about your needs and wants. Then there are several steps you can take to find the perfect pet for you.

Method 1
Picking a Pet to Fit Your Lifestyle

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    Think about why you want a pet. When you are considering getting a pet, there are a lot of factors to take into account. One of the first things you should do is to figure out why you want a pet. Your motives can help you figure out which pet is right for you.[1]
    • If you are looking for a companion, you have several options. Cats and dogs provide a lot of emotional comfort and can also be very entertaining. They are very intelligent too.
    • Rabbits can also be wonderful companion pets. They are intelligent and social and enjoy affection.
    • Birds can also be good company. Parrots in particular are very smart and talkative.
    • If you are looking for a pet for your kids, you also have a lot of options. Dogs are a very popular choice. If you want to teach your children responsibility, you can have them help walk the dog and feed it.
    • If you want more of a trial pet to see how things go, fish are a good option. They are low maintenance.
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    Figure out the time commitment. It is important to think about how much time you want to devote to your pet. Some, like dogs and horses, require a lot of attention and care. With large animals like those, you will need to spend time exercising them each day.[2]
    • Cats require less time on a daily basis. You won't need to walk your cat, but you should spend time playing with it and giving it affection each day.
    • Ferrets are a popular pet choice. Be aware that ferrets require social interactions with their humans each day. You will also need to spend time cleaning their cage each day.
    • If you are thinking about getting a parrot, make sure your daily schedule has some free time in it. A parrot needs interaction for about 2-3 hours each day.
    • Whatever pet you get will need some of your time. Take into account how much time you will need to spend each day on feeding, cleaning, and socialization.
    • You should also consider how long of a commitment you are willing to make. For example, cats typically live for 15-20, while rabbits could be with you for 7-10 years.
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    Make a budget. When you are considering a pet, you need to think about the financial costs. Some pets, such as horses, are very expensive. Others, such as fish, are extremely affordable.[3]
    • Do some research on how much pets cost. Visit a pet store to get an idea of how much things like food, toys, and cages cost.
    • Take adoption fees into consideration. If you are going to find a pet at a shelter, there will be feeds involved.
    • Think about health care. Like people, pets need regular check-ups to keep them healthy. Figure out how much trips to the vet will cost on average.
    • Consider costs of housing. Ferrets, for example, need large cages. Horses often need to be boarded at a local stable.
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    Reflect on your habits. Think about what your daily lifestyle is like. Do you work from home? Then maybe you have more time to devote to a pet. But if you regularly find yourself stuck at the office late at night, it might be hard to make it home in time to feed a dog.[4]
    • Think about how often you travel. If you are frequently out of town, do you have someone who can look after your pet?
    • If you are hardly ever home, you should consider a pet that doesn't need a lot of socialization. Fish or a hamster might be a good choice.
    • Think about your physical habits. For example, if you are a runner, consider getting a dog that can accompany you. Huskies, collies, and labs will be happy to go for a jog.
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    Talk to your family members. If you live alone, you really only need to consider your pet preferences. But if you live with other people, it is important to talk to them about their feelings towards animals. For example, maybe your partner is not found of rodents. That means a ferret is not the best choice.[5]
    • It's important that everyone in your family is open to getting a pet. You don't want to bring an animal home to a negative environment.
    • Discuss care giving. Have an open conversation about who will be responsible for cleaning the cage or feeding the animal.
    • Consider allergies. It's important to choose a pet that will not cause health problems for your family members. Many people are allergic to rabbits, for example.
    • Have each family member meet the potential pet before bringing it home. This will help you see if there are any negative reactions.
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    Consult an expert. Talk to a veterinarian before you bring a pet home. A vet can tell you about behavioral characteristics of the pet you are considering. For example, an expert will know that large dogs can often unintentionally knock over small children in your house. [6]
    • A vet can also give you a good idea of the time commitment involved with each type of pet. For example, a vet can talk to you about how to make a good environment for ferrets.
    • A vet can also talk to you about costs involved with many different types of animals. For example, if you are considering adopting a senior cat, you might be looking at frequent trips to the vet.
    • Perhaps you are considering getting an unusual pet. If you are considering bringing home a pot bellied pig, make sure there is a local vet who has experience caring for those types of pets.

Method 2
Choosing the Right Pet For Your Home

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    Talk to your landlord. If you rent your home, it is essential that you speak to your landlord before bringing home a pet. Even if your lease allows animals in your building, it's a good idea to check to make sure that your landlord is ok with the type of pet you are considering. A brief note or phone call can answer your questions.[7]
    • Try saying, "Hi, Jim. I am considering getting a cat. Are there any policies or additional fees that I need to be aware of?"
    • If you own your own home, you might need to take a look at your home owner's insurance policy. Some coverage does not extend to particular breeds of animals.
    • For example, dog breeds such as Rottweilers and Pit Bulls can cause problems with your coverage. Speak to an agent if you have questions.
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    Pick a compatible personality. Choose an animal whose energy level suits your own. If you are an active person, pick a pet who will also enjoy being active. For example, a collie or Jack Russell terrier would probably be a good fit.[8]
    • Are you talkative? Think about whether or not you want a pet who will "converse" with you. Parrots and Siamese cats are considered very "talkative" animals.
    • If your household is bustling with activity and filled with people, choose an animal who will thrive in that environment. Many dogs and birds love to be around people.
    • Maybe your home is quiet and you like it that way. Consider an older cat or a rabbit to be a calm companion.
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    Pay attention to size. When it comes to picking a pet, size matters. If you live in a small apartment, take that into account. It might seem like a bird wouldn't take up much room, but it's important to realize that even small birds need large cages. Make sure you have plenty of space to house your new pet.[9]
    • A good rule of thumb is the larger the animal, the more space they will need. For example, a larger breed of dog will take up more room in your home.
    • Larger dogs will also need more space to run and stretch their legs. Unless you have a large backyard, a small dog will probably be more suitable.
    • Ferrets also require a lot of space. You will need a large cage and also plenty of room to allow them to roam about your home during their playtime.
    • If you are thinking about getting fish, consider how large of a tank you have room for. Multiple fish require a large tank, which can take up several feet of counter space.
    • If you are considering getting a snake, be aware that reptiles also need room to spread out sometimes. At a minimum, a snake cage will take up about half a square foot of floor space.
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    Plan where to put supplies. It's not just your animal who needs space. Pets often come with a lot of supplies. When you are thinking about the right pet, figure out where you will store all of the animal supplies.[10]
    • If you are getting a cat, make sure you have a good place for the litter box. Cats like privacy, so it should not be placed in a main room.
    • Litter boxes can have strong odors. Think about whether you have an out of the way room or large closet where you can tuck the box away.
    • Think about a feeding area for your pet. Is there room in your kitchen for water and food bowls?
    • If you are going to get a rabbit, do you have room for the hutch? Do you have a safe space where your rabbit can hop around?
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    Explore your neighborhood. If you are considering getting a dog, take a good look at your neighborhood. An ideal space for dogs will have parks, preferably dog parks. Your dog will appreciate having a space to run and play if you don't have your own yard.[11]
    • Even if your pet will mainly be staying indoors, your neighborhood is still important. There are several things to consider.
    • For example, is there a vet nearby? It's important that you can easily access health care for your pet.
    • Will you be able to easily find supplies? For example, if you are bringing home an exotic bird, is there a nearby store that sells the proper food?
    • Look into pet-sitting options. It's always good to know who will watch your pets if you go on vacation.

Method 3
Meeting the Perfect Pet

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    Visit local shelters. Once you have figured out what type of pet is right for you, it is time to go out and find your new family member. A great place to start is your local animal shelter. Most shelters have regular visiting hours. Go and look at the animals that are available for adoption.[12]
    • At a shelter, you will find a wide variety of animals. There will likely be many breeds of dogs in all stages of life.
    • If you are looking for a cat, you could try a cat oriented shelter. Many cat shelters allow the cats to roam freely around enclosed rooms, so you will be able to interact with them.
    • There are rescue organizations for many types of animals. Your city might have a rabbit rescue, or even a shelter that takes in birds.
    • If possible, visit more than one shelter. You can get a sense for what types of pets need homes.
    • Be aware that there are procedures to follow when adopting a shelter pet. You may need to pass a background check or supply a reference. This is for the safety of the animals.
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    Talk to volunteers. When you visit the shelter, spend some time speaking to the people who work there. They spend a lot of time with the animals and they can provide you with some valuable insight. For example, if you are looking for a pet for your kids, ask a volunteer which dog is gentle and playful.[13]
    • The volunteers can tell you about the animals behavior. They will know which cats love to be held and which ones prefer alone time.
    • If you have other animals at home, take that into consideration. Ask the volunteers or staff members which animals interact well with others.
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    Spend time with the animal. Get to know your potential pet before bringing it home. Consider visiting the shelter more than once. You want to see if your future pet has an even temperament.[14]
    • If you are thinking about adopting a dog, ask if you can take it on a walk. It's important to see how dogs react to new sights and sounds.
    • Take your family members with you. Each member of the family should spend a little time with the animal before you bring it home.
    • Make sure you like the animal's personality. For example, if you want an animal to snuggle, don't get a cat that hates to be held.
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    Go to a pet store. Pet stores are great options for purchasing some pets. For example, you can find a lot of fish, parakeets, and hamsters.Talk to the pet store employee about the needs of each type of pet.[15]
    • The humane society recommends that you do not purchase a puppy from a pet store. Even if they say otherwise, many stores purchase dogs from inhumane puppy mills.
    • Some pet stores host adoption events. These are special times when shelter animals visit the store to meet potential owners.
    • A shelter event at the pet store is a great way for you to meet several animals at once. Bonus: you can purchase all of the supplies you will need.
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    Consult a breeder. If you have your heart set on a particular type of animal, it might be a good idea to talk to a breeder. For example, if you are interested in getting a labradoodle puppy, you might not be able to find one at your local shelter. Breeders are good if you know what breed you want.[16]
    • Do some research before choosing a breeder. Many breeders raise animals in poor conditions.
    • Ask employees at your local humane society if they know any responsible breeders. You can also read online reviews from previous customers.
    • Ask a local vet for a list of reputable breeders. You want to find one that breeds and treats animals humanely.
    • If you are looking for a larger pet, such as a horse, a breeder is a good source. A breeder should be knowledgeable and help you find the right animal for your needs.


  • If you can't decide on the perfect pet after looking through several places, ask a friend if you can care for his or her pet for a time. Some first-hand experience with an animal may help you make a decision.
  • If you like animals, but live in a home or apartment that restricts pets, get a job as a dog walker or offer to care for friends' pets while they are away on business trips or on vacation.
  • You or someone in your family may be allergic to some animals. Spend time with the pet before you make a commitment. Make sure all family members who will come in regular contact with the pet do as well.

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Categories: New Pets