Adding a new pet to your family can be fun and exciting. In this edition of Pet Pointers, Lisa Chelenza suggests considerations before adopting a new animal.
There are some questions every family should ask before making the decision to adopt a pet:
•How much time every day will I have to spend with my new pet?
•How much will it cost to care for them?
•Who will take care of them?
It's important to remember our pets need attention every day, in addition to food and water needs. When you first bring a dog or puppy home, be prepared to dedicate at least two to five hours every day to training and bonding.
Cats need to be fed, have their litter boxes cleaned, and scratched behind the ears daily. One hour per day is about all it takes for the basics. However, a cat who needs attention will find a way to get it.
Fish need proper water conditions, the right size tank, the proper equipment, and daily feeding. You might have to make time on the weekends to clean the tank or change the water.
Small mammals, birds and reptiles might seem easy, but they need specialized care. They have life expectancies that range from about two to seven years for small rodents, and up to 80 years or more for some species of parrots and tortises. You may even want to consider making arrangements for them in your will.
Before you bring a pet home, make sure the entire family is going to help out.