• December 8, 2023

How to Decide on Pet Ownership

As a child, our family owned dogs. They protected us while providing daily companionship. However, as an adult, I have not had the same reaction to possible pet ownership. On of the possible reasons may be because I suffer from pet allergies and I realize that I would have to review any benefits versus costs to caring for my pet.

     Some of my family/friends do own pets and most are very happy with their decision and treat the pet as a member of the family. If you are a person with a chronic medical condition it is critical to take the time to determine if you want a pet. You may want to consider a few pros and cons of having a pet and not allow anyone to guide your decision since you are the ultimate owner. Here are some realistic questions to consider:

Health Questions

1) What is your current health condition? 
2) Do you suffer from relapses? If so, who will be able to care for your pet? 
3) Is the desired pet considered needy? This can cause more physical pain (Check with a veterinarian/qualified pet provider). 
4) If you have children, will you be able to care for both? 
5) If you have a spouse/significant other, will the pet cause problems with your relationship?

Social Questions

1) What type of pet are your purchasing? Some pets require constant attention. 
2) Will you be home to care for the pet? Pets need to be trained/introduced into the home. 
3) Do you become frustrated or bored easily?

Financial Questions

1) What is your household income? 
2) Will this income support basic pet care such as vet bills and pet supplies? 
3) Will you be changing business/career options in the near future? May decrease income.

Lifestyle Questions

1) Do you have the space for the pet? Some pets are more active than other pets. 
2) Do you have regular company/guest who may disturb your pet? 
3) Do you work at home with clients/customers/vendors/supp liers?

One good idea is to offer to pet sit for a neighbor/family member. Example, care for his/her dog within their home for a few hours and see if there is a connection. If this works out well you may consider this service for a few weeks.

Pets are a wonderful blessing but an honest review of your life is important before making your final decision. Unfortunately, based on the above criteria you may decide against having a pet now. Remember, you can keep this list and consider pet ownership in the future.

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