Cats and dogs can be a wonderful addition to any family, as can other pets such as birds or hamsters. In the years since Ashli was born we have welcomed a few pets into our family. Currently we have miss Cleo, who is pretty much just my furry second child. Before we decided to adopt Cleo though, we had to consider if our family was ready to take on the responsibility of caring for a pet. We’ve had Cleo for about 5 years now, and at the time we adopted her, we had just lost my dad and our last cat. Some things I considered before we got a new cat.

My child is allergic to some animals

Ashli has been allergic to most animals fur since she was quite small. We found out the hard way when my sister surprised us with a beautiful white rabbit as a gift, and poor Ash ended up in the emergency ward not being able to breath.

After discussing the matter with our doctor, we decided to try visiting animal shelters and have Ash play with the animal we wanted to bring home first. It was a little scary (mostly for me), but it was the best way to ensure she was going to be safe.

Can you afford a pet

Pets need stuff that costs money, it’s that simple. Vaccinations, worm treatments, tick treatments, flea treatments, food, toys, bedding … the list goes on. If you are not in a financial situation where you can afford to care for your pet properly, you should really reconsider. Perhaps wait a while until you are able to afford proper care, or do your research and settle on a pet that has less requirements.

You Will  Remember the Important Stuff

Will you as a family remember to take them to the vets when their check-ups are needed, when it’s time for a nail-cutting or most importantly when their vaccinations are due? When they need attention from the cat vet every so often it is very easy to forget them, but it could be vital to keep them healthy. Mark it on the calendar when visits to the vet are due, and try not to miss any of their jabs or medication.

The Whole are Family Committed

Cats, dogs and all other pets bring responsibility with them. It’s important to make sure that everyone in the family does their bit. In our home, it’s Ashlis responsibility to clean up after Cleo by tending to her litter, making sure her food bowls are clean and if there are hair balls, well she cleans those up too. My job is all the other stuff, but when Ash is sick, I also have to take over for her. If you are not prepared to do that, maybe you are not ready for a pet yet.

Once you know that everyone is ready, then you should discuss what pet the family would like. It is said that birds need the most attention, followed by dogs and then cats. Of course, the type of attention they need is different and the care of the pet should be a shared responsibility where possible.

Is Your Family Ready?

If you think your family is ready to have a pet, discuss who will do what jobs relating to it so that you all share the tasks in hand. Make sure children do what they are supposed to and never just take it for granted that they have or your pat might suffer.

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