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Thinking about expanding your family again? No, on this occasion, we are not talking about children. We are talking about adding a furry friend to your household. Pets are a common feature in many homes across the country and can bring a lot of joy to families. They are often a child’s best friend and can teach your little ones about responsibility and loyalty. They are also great at helping you get more exercise, especially if you choose to get a dog that needs to be walked a lot. But all in all, they simply become part of the family – chances are once you get your pet, you will wonder how you could ever live without one. That being said, aside from all the joy they bring, pets still come attached with a lot of responsibility and things you will need to consider. Before you tell your children that you might be getting a pet, here are some of the top things you will need to consider.

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Do you have the time?

Although well-trained pets are good at seamlessly integrating into the household, you will still find that they take up a lot of your time – especially when you first get them. Young dogs and cats require house training, and you may experience a few sleepless nights when you first bring them home as they whine or cry. On a more daily basis, you may find that your life is ruled by your pet’s schedule. There are specific times you need to feed them, interact with them and walk them. Dogs especially are very social animals and rely heavily on human interaction. So, if you don’t think that you have the time to commit to owning a pet, it is best not to get one at all.

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Are you prepared for the medical needs?

Just like humans, dogs and cats (and all other types of household pets) get sick. It is often difficult to recognize when your pet is unwell, as of course, they cannot tell you. Before you buy a pet, you will need to be clued up on common medical ailments they may face so you can recognize when they are suffering. You will also need to know what to do and be prepared to pay a vet’s bill if your pet requires further treatment. However, sometimes there will be conditions that you will be able to treat at home, by using things such as frontline flea and tick.

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Is a pet suitable for your children?

If you already have a very unsettled home life, adding a pet into the mix is unlikely to make things better. Consider your children’s behavior and whether they would be well-suited to having a pet. If your kids are excitable and big fans of rough play, it may be best to avoid pets until they are a little older. Dogs and cats can become very stressed in a loud and busy environment – and the last thing you want is for your pet to react badly to them. If you don’t think your children are ready for a pet just yet, simply wait a few years and then re-assess the situation.

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