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Is it Time to Get a New Pet?

Nothing quite turns a house into a home like a new pet. Having a dog, cat, or even a hamster around can be a great way to add a little warmth and entertainment to your life.

It’s probably no surprise, then, that so many of our new home buyers decide to add new pets once they move in. In case you’re considering doing the same, here are a few steps you should follow before you bring your furry new friend home…

Check Allergies First

If you aren’t sure whether any members of your family are allergic to cats, dogs, or other animals, find out before you begin the purchase or adoption process. Your family physician can probably administer a simple test that will tell you whether you have any ongoing allergies. While these can be handled with medication, it’s usually better to simply choose a path that won’t make anyone sneezy.

Research Breeds and Personalities

To an outsider, all cats and dogs can look pretty similar. And it’s not uncommon for homeowners to choose pets based on appearance, or a favourite animal they’ve seen in pop culture. However, different animals and breeds can have distinctive personalities (not to mention care requirements). It’s best to do a bit of research on these before making a final decision, so you can find the pet that’s perfect for your family.

Know the Costs

Some homeowners can be surprised at just how quickly the expenses for a new pet can add up. In addition to things like food and beds, most pets require toys, veterinary visits, and even boarding for times when the family is traveling without them. While keeping a pet is usually relatively inexpensive, it’s a good idea to factor any extra or unexpected costs into the budget before bringing them home.

Talk to Your Kids About the Pet

Pets and kids go together perfectly, but it’s up to parents to teach younger family members about dealing with animals. In particular, you want to be sure your kids know how they should be expected to treat the animal, what their responsibilities (like walking and feeding) might be, and what kinds of foods the animal can or can’t eat. Younger kids might need to be supervised for a while, so take that into consideration.

Make Space for Your Pet

Even small pets take up a little bit of space. Therefore, you’ll want to find a place in your home where they can eat, sleep, and possibly even take care of bodily functions. This is an area where a little bit of planning can go a long way, not to mention prevent arguments later.

Consider Adopting

There are lots of places to get a pet, of course, but the most affordable option is usually to adopt a pet from a local shelter. The nonprofits who oversee these facilities will typically ensure that an animal has had it shots and meets certain benchmarks for health. Even better, you’ll feel great knowing that you’ve done a good deed by giving your new pet a much-needed home with a loving family!

Getting a new pet is a big decision, but most homeowners find that once they’ve adjusted to life with an animal in the house they couldn’t imagine what it would be like without them. Moving into a new home gives you the perfect opportunity to add a cute new member to the family. Just be sure to do your homework and make the right preparations first!

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