Factors to consider when choosing a new pet

June 7, 2024

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Welcoming a new pet into your home is an exciting and rewarding experience. Regardless of species, finding the perfect companion requires careful consideration. In the following article we explore the traits to look for in a new pet to help ensure a happy relationship for years to come.

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Factors to consider when choosing a new pet

Compatibility & costs

When choosing a new pet, the of compatibility with your lifestyle should be a primary factor.

The species, breed size, energy levels, temperament, training and grooming needs should all be carefully considered, as should the costs of healthcare, housing and insurance.

Questions to ask yourself include:

  • How much time each day can you devote to a pet?
  • Who will care for your pet while you are away?
  • Do you have the space for your preferred pet and the energy to clean up after them?
  • How would a new pet fit in with any current pets?
  • Is everyone in the family happy with the choice?

It’s also worth remembering that pets for children often become parental responsibilities!

Where to get a new pet from

There are lots of animals awaiting rehoming in local rescue centres such as Woodgreen, Dogs Trust and the Blue Cross. Most shelters will compete temperament testing on any animals in their care and be able to tell you a bit about the specific needs of any animals. They will usually also conduct home checks to ensure ideal pet-owner matches. Rehoming is a great way of providing a much needed home to an animal in need. It can be very rewarding but may also come with some challenges as the pet settles in to a new environment.

Alternatively, you can opt for reputable breeders. Good breeders should offer information, paperwork and, in the case of cats and dogs, some level of veterinary care prior to sale. You should be able to meet a pet before you buy them and see them with their parents (this reduces the risk of inadvertently ending up with a ‘farmed’ puppy or kitten.) Ideally a pet should have been raised in a home environment. This ensures they are use to the sights and sounds of a home from an early age. Be cautious of breeders unwilling to provide necessary information.

If buying a small furry or an exotic pet from a pet shop, check the shop’s reputation online and look for healthy looking animals, cleanliness and caring and knowledgeable staff before you buy.

What to lookout for in a new pet

  1. Confidence & Sociability: A confident and sociable pet adapts well, interacts positively, and enjoys a fulfilling life. Look for curiosity, friendliness, and ease of interaction when choosing as a good temperament is really important. .
  2. Good Health & Vitality: Look for clear eyes, a shiny coat, and a healthy weight. Check for signs of alertness, energy, and enthusiasm. Ask about medical history and vaccinations too.
  3. Healthy Parents & Genetics: Consider the health and genetics of the pet’s parents, as they significantly influence the pet’s future wellbeing. Responsible breeders provide information about lineage and health screenings, ensuring a strong foundation for the pet’s health.
  4. Responsiveness to Training & Handling: Observe how they respond to training and handling during interactions. Look for signs of attentiveness and eagerness to learn. A pet who responds positively to training and handling is easier to bond with, teach new skills, and integrate into your life.

Finding the right pet takes time and involves a lot of research. We are always here to help if you are thinking of getting a new pet and need further advice of what would work best for you and your family.

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