You have seen a cute kitten/puppy/bunny on TV and want one! STOP!THINK! Is it right for your household and lifestyle? The very old saying ‘Marry in haste, repent at leisure’ may be an old chestnut but definitively applies to getting a pet. Just a few things to think about:
Lifestyle – busy or quiet household? House-proud or ‘never mind the mess’ attitude? Travel a lot? Couch potato or fitness freak? Other pets already there? Children? Grandma? – Could you cope with lots of hair/slobber (Italian Spinone)? Do you want to walk miles every day (Beagle)? Can Grandma cope with the bounce (Boxer?)
Expectations – What do you want a pet for? Companionship, obedience, sport? How many people is the pet supposed to please? A Greyhound not ideal for agility.
Cost – How much can you really afford initially and every week/month/year? It has been estimated that a rabbit will cost between 9k(PDSA) and 11K(RSPCA) over its lifetime (9-10 years, assuming it has been looked after properly), though the majority of the respondents in a recent PDSA survey, thought it would cost them 1k. Owning a pet is expensive and it is important to work out the costs before acquiring one, taking into account all possible expenses. For example for a rabbit there are set up costs to provide appropriate housing and regular costs for food (Good quality hay is not cheap!) and bedding. Then there is veterinary care annually such as vaccinations, one off costs e.g.neutering and unexpected costs if he is unwell. There may also be boarding costs if you go away and have no one to look after him.
There is no such thing as a free pet!