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Are you ready to get a pet?

 Do you have the time and budget to get a pet? (Photo: iStock)

Getting a pet is literally like adding a new family member. You spend time with them every day, sometimes for years, and they become part of you.

For you to own a pet and live comfortably, you have to plan well. It’s a real commitment that changes your life so this is something you need to analyze properly before you go through with your plans.

To help you out, here are a couple of points to guide you on whether you’re ready for one or if you should reconsider. These are five questions you should ask yourself as you think about it:

Will pet food fit in your budget?

When you get a pet, one of the first things you should think about is food. They need to have access to not just any food, but nutritious food every single day.

You can do some window shopping and check what brands are there, how much they are and whether this is something you can consistently buy without worrying about money. Some of these pet food prices might go up in future and that is also something else you need to think about.

Do you have the time?

When you’re thinking of getting a pet theoretically, it might seem like you will have the time to take care of them. But when it comes to the practical part of it, you might struggle especially on those days when you’re very busy.

You will manage if you have someone else to help you especially when you have an overwhelming schedule. But if you don’t, you need to first think of how you can adjust your schedule so you can have enough time to take care of it.

Will you handle vet visits?

Your pet will also need regular visits to the vet which should also be already planned for in your budget. They need to get vaccinations and sometimes you might need to take them for a checkup when they fall sick.

Assess whether your finances can accommodate all these medical needs, including emergency visits. If you can manage then you’re good to go.

Do you have a pet sitter on standby?

You will also have to think about those times when you won’t be around to feed or watch your pet. This can happen when you have to travel for a couple of days for work or any other reason.

During those times, you will need someone who is willing to watch your pet meanwhile. This can be hard because people are often occupied with work and other daily duties.

You need to take time to identify someone who can come through for you when you’re not around before getting a pet.

Will you handle the attachment?

The hardest part of owning a pet is letting them go after they’ve been part of you for so long. It’s sad to think about the day they might die or when you might have to give them away but, that’s just the reality.

Some people are able to handle that kind of attachment but for others, it’s not that easy when you have to let them go. So, think about whether you will be able to cope well with this part of owning a pet before getting one. 

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