Do you feel ready to welcome a new furball into your life, and into your home? While talking about owning a pet is a great idea, actually turning this dream into reality can provide a whole host of issues and problems that you might not previously have considered. Not only is getting a family pet a huge responsibility, but it can also generate costs and inconveniences, especially if your pet gets sick or you work long hours and need to find someone to help you take your pet out during the day. 

Not to mention, pets live on average 12 to 15 years, depending on whether you are looking into getting a cat or dog, and the size of the breed. However, negatives aside, owning an animal at home is a great way to encourage your family to spend more time together, learn how to be responsible and will provide hours of love and fun for you all to enjoy. 

Before thinking of visiting the pound or your local animal shelter, take time to discuss which pet will work best for you and your household. Owning a dog will mean that you need to schedule in time to take your pooch out for walks, and you will need to be ready to dedicate around an hour a day to your four-legged friend to ensure that they get all the exercise and love that they need. Cats are a lot more independent and do not need as much fuss, however, as with any pet you will need to make sure that your house is prepared and kept a safe environment for your latest addition to the family. Make sure to seal any gaps, and keep hot or sharp objects well out of the way – in particular if you are thinking of getting a kitten or a puppy. You should also consider if you want to buy or adopt your new family member. If you are thinking of adopting, then be sure to discuss your current home situation with the animal shelter and be honest and open. If you are considering welcoming home a pet that has certain behavioral requirements or needs, then you will need to dedicate more time and effort to ensure that they feel safe and loved. 

Which option works best?
According to recent statistics, 68 percent of US families currently own a pet. While this might be a high statistic, make sure that you put yourself and your family first, before becoming yet another number- just because the idea of pet ownership is appealing, it might not always work well for you and your family. Begin by working out which breed works best for you and your household. If you are considering getting a dog, then larger breeds require more exercise and attention, while a smaller breed may need more training and could also live a lot longer. If you live in an apartment, then sadly owning a cat or a dog may not be a possible option for you at this current point in your life. It is vital that you put the animal first. You might have all the love in the world, but if your current home environment is not pet-friendly, then it may be best to wait. 

If you are considering getting a cat, then there are other issues that you will need to consider. The average cat can live for up to 17 years, meaning you need to be prepared to dedicate a large section of your life to your new fluff ball. While, if you prefer to keep your home as a show home then think again. Cats are notorious for shedding fur and having to scratch to keep their claws sharp and short. So make sure that you invest in a scratching post if you want to ensure that your furniture is kept safe. 

Financial implications
Pet ownership not only costs time, but it can also become quite an expensive commitment too. You will constantly invest in food for your pet, as well as the occasional toy to ensure that they are well fed and do not become bored while you are out of the house. Make sure that you take out affordable pet insurance so that you are not hit with hefty veterinary bills if your pet gets sick or is unwell, as an unexpected operation or surgical procedure can soon get very costly. Not to mention, you will need to ensure that your pet is wormed and kept tick and flea-free on a monthly basis. Products such as Pet-Lock can help to kill off these unwelcome pests. As soon as you take your pet home, you will need to make sure that you can keep up with these monthly costs and commitments. So it is worth checking your household budget first, to ensure that you are truly ready to get a pet and take on the costs that come with animal ownership also.

Lifestyle change 
If you are not particularly active or spend a lot of your weekends traveling, then your lifestyle is also going to need to change. Owning a pet means that you need to be ready to take your dog on long walks or spend time at home on the weekends with your new four-legged friend. It is not advised to introduce a pet into your life if you then plan to them locked away in the house, so make sure that you get ready to dedicate the time and attention that your new fluff ball needs.

If you are thinking of getting a new pet, then make sure not to rush this decision. Work out if you are able to welcome a pet into your home, and be sure to consider which breed or size of pet will suit you and your family best. Make sure that you are committed to dedicating a large part of your life to your new four-legged friend. Finally, be sure to give your finances a check over, and make sure that you are ready to adapt and be more flexible so that your pet can have the best lifestyle possible.