It’s fast approaching the year anniversary since little Frankie entered my life and since then, many of you have asked me questions about getting a pet – how big my place is, how high-maintenance house cats are, how much it all cost, so I decided to write a blog post all about getting a pet and the things you need to think about before you do.
I feel like in this day and age, especially on Instagram, it feels as though people impulse buy a dog or two literally every five minutes. Indeed, it probably looks to some as though that’s exactly what I did. Everyone wants a pretty kitty for their IG right?
Even though I’ve had cats my whole life, I did SO much research before getting a house cat. I wanted, more than anything, to make sure it was fair keeping them indoors (originally I was very anti house cats till I read up on how with the right care, they can live just as happily, and in many cases longer lives than outdoor cats) and that ig I got one, they could have a happy, healthy life here with just little old me to keep them company.
You’ve probably already heard it before and it’s worth hearing again, getting a pet is a BIG responsibility and not one that should be taken without all the proper research beforehand.
So without further ado, here’s some key things to consider.
1.Initial costs and running costs
Yes, it’s going to be expensive. Not just for the cost of the pet itself. It for everything you’ll need to take care of it. All the little things add up and you may want to check your budget covers them all.
Collars, leads, aquarium tanks, beds, toys the list goes on and on. It will be best to write down all of the essentials before getting your pet and adding it up to see what the total cost is going to be.
The funny thing with Frankie was he was a present from Chaz for my birthday – he only cost £20 to buy from his old owner, but it was all the others costs that were expensive!
I had to pay to get him neutered (£50), pay for his vaccinations against airborne diseases (£60), pay for his bed, toys, pet carrier and litter tray (£80) and of course get him his wet and dry food (£10) and a stock of wormer and flea treatments (£14).
2. Vet bills
Animals get sick just like humans do and you’ll be the one to pay for it since they don’t have an NHS that they can run out to in times of need. You’ll have to look into getting pet insurance to cover the costs. You’ll no doubt be in the vets at some point even if it’s just for a check up.
I’ve got some brilliant insurance from Tesco Bank that covers against all serious illnesses and accidents. They had fantastic reveiws and it only costs me £7 a month.
At the end of the day, you never know when your pet might get sick or have an accident so if you don’t have a large sum of cash behind you in savings investing in some pet insurance is really worthwhile.
3. Protecting your furry friends
If your pet of choice is a dog or cat with a furry coat then you’ll have to be on the lookout for fleas and ticks. The best form of attack against these pests is to prevent them from getting near your pet in the first place.
Keep your garden maintained and tidy. These little bugs want to hide and lay their eggs in amongst the untrimmed grass and bushes. Don’t draw attention to your home from any other wildlife. Foxes, possums, badgers, stray cats you name it and these creatures will want to latch themselves on to them.
Make sure they don’t get into your home and keep them away from your garden. Don’t lure them in by leaving out food in bowls. If your pet does get ticks or fleas then you may want to use a product like Advecta to get rid of them (I flea and worm Frankie once a month).
It’s also important to make sure you have enough space to house your new pet. If you have a large dog for instance it’s going to need a lot more space than a pet gerbil.
Be honest with yourself and make an informed decision of yourself what your home can cope with – this isn’t about your needs. As much as I would LOVE to have another cat, I simply can’t in my small flat, it wouldn’t be fair.
Some animals start off small and grow rapidly into giant beasts so don’t be caught out or they may just outgrow your home altogether. Find out as much as you can about the type of pet your buying before making a purchase.
5. Consider adopt a rescue animal
It’s sad but quite often cats and dogs can be bred purely for profit. The mothers of the animals will be continually forced to give birth to new litters. You may not realise it but purchasing from these breeders is adding fuel to the fire.
There are so many perfectly lovely cats and dogs out there just now that need a new home and you could be their hero and saviour. Instead of spending s life behind bars in a kennel they could be out for walks with a caring owner – you!
The lady I bought Frankie from (for a mere £20! He’s worth every penny) had his since he was a kitten (he was one when I bought him) but her and her family were moving back in with her Mum and as she was pregnant with a newborn on the way, she didn’t want to risk having a cat around her newborn baby and in a new, smaller space, which was understandable. If she hadn’t been able to find a home for him she was going to have to take him to a shelter, but didn’t want to as she didn’t hear good things about the ones in her local area.
A lot of animals in rescue centres have gone through hard times through no fault of their own. Abandoned, malnourished and in general not taken care of properly. You could be giving them the new lease of life that they deserve.
Are you at work a lot or away from your home for extended periods of time? Leaving your pet alone can be a scary and lonely time for them. Certain animals do not cope well with being left alone all day, such as dogs.
Make sure you’re living a lifestyle that includes your pet. It’s a big commitment and a lot of the time you’ll have to put their needs before your own. So you’ve got to really ask yourself. Do you really have the time to take care of a pet?
So, to conclude, there’s a lot to be thinking about! Do you have the bank balance to support a new pet? Is your home in a suitable condition or state to house the creature? Do you have enough time to properly devote to your pet? If you’ve hesitated on any of these questions then you may need to reconsider your options.
Having your own pet, not your parents, siblings or friends, is honestly amazing. I adore Frankie’s fluffy face more than anything and miss him terribly if I ever go away. As soon as I move somewhere bigger, I can’t wait to get him a little kitten friend to keep him company whilst I am away during the day.
Then eventually when I get my first house, I am planning on getting a husky. I know dogs are a massive commitment but I have always wanted one and it gets me so excited just thinking about it!
Anyway, but as this post has proved, there are many things to consider before making the big decision and the welfare of the animal/s involved should always be of your highest priority.
Until next time lovelies,