Are you ready for pet?
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Amy Kennedy is concerned about the perception of pet ownership, as she believes people often underestimate the commitment that a pet requires. Whether a low-maintenance pet like a fish or more involved pets like cats or dogs, it’s important to consider whether you are ready to take on the responsibility of taking care of another life.
Kennedy, assistant practice manager at Metairie Small Animal Hospital, said, “There is no perfect formula for a good pet owner, but there are a number of things that everyone needs to think about before making that commitment.”
So what do you need to know before committing to getting a pet? Jill Davis, history pre-law junior, who owns Kato, a 9-month-old Dalmatian mix, says that people aren’t aware of the time commitment that owning a pet requires.
“People need to realize that it is a 12 year commitment. Dogs live for a while and you can’t just get bored and give them away,” Davis said.
It’s also a huge financial commitment to have a pet, however small, which a lot of people overlook.
“You need at least $1,000 in the bank to get a puppy. The medical, kennel, toys, food, all of that adds up,” Davis said. “I’ve spent maybe $500 on toys in the last four months.”
Kennedy agrees, but wants to make it clear that dogs are not the only pets who are expensive to own.
“I would guard people against that line of thinking that fish or hamsters are $30 and that’s it. They do require less time, but I also find that there are a lot of environmental factors that people don’t consider,” Kennedy said.
Another thing to consider is your lifestyle and whether a pet fits into it.
“We always say to people, look at your lifestyle first and find a pet to match it. A lot of times, there are very active pets by breed that are then kept in apartments; then you get unwanted behaviors and acting out,” Kennedy said.
As fulfilling as owning a pet can be, it is imperative that you consider your own personal situation before getting a pet, as you want to give that animal the best life it can have.