Picking a Pet

What to Know Before Choosing the Right Pet
If you’re planning on adding a pet to your family, congratulations! Owning a pet can be
incredibly rewarding, but it also requires planning, research and forethought to ensure
a perfect fit for you, and for the pet. Here are a few factors to consider when trying to
determine what pet will work best for you!
Size and Environment
Before bringing an animal into your home, it’s important to consider a few things
about your prospective pet – from their size and energy level, to what their space
needs to make sure they’re content, and healthy.
First and foremost, you should think about the size of your new companion. A large
dog is going to need a fairly spacious living space, with close proximity to a yard, dog
park, or trail to ensure your dog will get the exercise it needs for it’s health, and the
opportunity to burn off some of their excess energy.
Smaller pets may require less space but can still be a lot of work. For example, if
you’re interested in adding a reptile, or amphibian to your family, it’s important to make
sure their enclosure's climate has the right humidity, air purity, and pH level.
With larger pets, and especially smaller pets, it’s not uncommon for people to have
misconceptions about how much space a type of pet actually needs.
It’s not unusual to see a goldfish in a small, round glass fish bowl. Those small bowls,
however, are not suitable habitats for a goldfish. Historically, it was thought that
Goldfish could thrive in almost any environment, but with advancements in animal
behavioral science, we now know it takes at least a 20 gallon tank of water for 1
goldfish to live a happy life.
Ornamental bird cages may look pretty, but may not allow you to properly dispose of
the animals waste, leaving your bird susceptible to infections, diseases, and poor
mental health. Rabbits don’t require a lot of space when they’re first born, but as they
age, they will require exponentially more space-- a cage won’t be enough room to
satisfy their emotional and physical health requirements.

If this seems daunting, don’t let it discourage you! It’s important to understand the full
scope of what a pet will need from you over the course of its life, to ensure you and
your pet are able to form a lasting bond that benefits both of you.
When you add a pet to your family, it’s important to make sure that the decision you’re
making is permanent. Changing households and environments can be incredibly
damaging to an animals wellbeing. Make sure when researching the pet you’re
interested in, that you take into account their average life-span, typical health stability,
and time it will take to train and promote good habits in your pet.
Larger breeds of dogs tend to live shorter lives than smaller ones. The average
lifespan of a German Shepherd, or Doberman will be around a decade. For smaller
dog breeds, like toy poodles, chihuahuas, and french bulldogs can reach lifespans in
the upwards of 15 to 25 years. If you find a dog you really bond with, that you want to
add to your family, make sure you’re considering how they’ll fit into your future plans.
For birds, turtles, and other animals with a higher longevity, it’s important to
understand that they are a lifetime commitment. Macaws, Cockatoo’s and African
Grey Parrots are beautiful creatures, with dynamic and endearing behaviours, and
attitudes. These animals, however, can live for up to 50 to 60 years. If you’re new to
owning pets, its important to not jump right into the deep end.


Adding a pet to your family, most of all, is a family decision. For parent’s who are
considering getting a pet for their child, understand that it is an addition to the family
that everyone is responsible for. If there are other pets or kids in the house, make sure
they’re all compatible, and comfortable with the decision to add a pet to the
household. When introducing a new animal to your house, make sure you do research
on the best way to acclimate them, whether that’s meeting at a neutral space, feeding
near each other, or placing them close to each other in separate enclosures. Some
animals, such as ferrets, rabbits, and birds are known to get along better with other
animals of their same breed, and typically are not as compatible with cats and dogs.
Additionally, you should also consider how much time and attention each animal will
need. If you’re adopting a dog, it’s vital to slot out time each day to take your dog on a

walk, to play with them for social enrichment, and to provide some form of mental
stimulation in the form of toys, treats, games, or tricks. Less socially complex animals
like Frogs, or Lizards, won't require the same level of social interaction that cats, dogs,
rabbits, and other mammals do.
Ultimately, owning and taking care of your pet will always require some level of cost,
and commitment; whether it’s their food, tank, equipment, toys, or leashes.
Typically, the more complex a pets needs are, the more expensive it will be to meet
them. Take for example the difference between fresh water fish tanks, and salt water
fish tanks. Salt Water fish tanks have a much higher associated cost: from maintaining
a proper pH, to the ratio of salts to water and oxygen-- all things that will require new
hardware for your tank, chemical additives to the water, or a new enclosure entirely.
With freshwater tanks, the maintenance and upkeep will be dramatically less work,
and a much smaller cost.
Not only is the upkeep, food, and equipment cost something to consider, but the
veterinary costs as well. Just like us, animals get sick, and need medicine, therapy, or
a change in diet to help alleviate and lessen their ailments. Vet visits can be sudden,
and expensive. It’s important to take into account if you have the ability to take your
animal to the vet on a moments notice before deciding to adopt them.

Now that you have an idea of what to consider when choosing a pet, you’re ready to
start your search. If you have any questions on the specific traits of animals, what
animal you think would be best for your specific situation, or what a specific pet
requires for equipment, food and maintenance, please reach out to us online, or in the

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