What animal fits you best? A dog, a cat, a rabbit
A cat, a dog, a cute little rabbit or maybe even an aquarium filled with colourful fish? You really need to think it through carefully before choosing a pet, especially when more than one person has a say in it. You should ask yourselves a few questions beforehand: How much space can you provide for an animal? Is there the option of having a space outside? And do you even have enough time for a pet? Never fear! We will explain everything you need to know about choosing a pet and we will help you find the right one.
How much living space do you have?
But even small animals sometimes require more space to feel at home than you would initially think. In general we can say that: If you have a home and a garden, you will have sufficient space for larger pets such as dogs. But this is also crucial for pets such as rabbits. It’s a whole different story in a flat. 120 square metres are large enough for a flat. However, if you live in an older building on the fifth or sixth storey and there’s no lift, you may want to reconsider getting a large dog – not only for your sake, but for the dog’s sake, too. A home with just 60 square metres, but with a garden and next to a field/meadow, would be ideal for a dog. If you’d prefer a cat, then you need to determine beforehand what type of living space you have to offer and what breed of cat you want. Do you want an indoor cat or would you rather have one that can spend time on a balcony or roam around the garden freely. Here you can find tips on cat-proofing your home. And there’s more: Generally birds are kept in a cage, which is good for a house or flat. However, they do need to fly around occasionally. In summary, we see that it is important for your new companion to have the space it needs. And remember to add enough space for food/water dishes, a litter box and a bed and/or cage.
Will you have enough time to spend with your pet?
When considering getting a pet, it’s important to think about the time you have available. It may actually be the most important aspect. How much time is needed all depends on the animal. A hamster or a fish won’t require as much time or care as a dog would. But even with these animals, you should not underestimate the effort and time required for cleaning the cage or aquarium regularly. Few birds actually require much attention and stroking, but they still seek companionship. For this reason, if you plan on keeping birds and spend a lot of time away from home, you should have more than just one. Outdoor cats are very independent and often only come home for meals. In contrast, indoor cats and cuddly cats need regular attention. And of course, dogs demand the most time of all. Dogs have to go outside several times a day, regardless of their size. Whether it’s summer or winter. And here’s another tip: If you travel a lot for work or pleasure, you should think carefully whether you want to get a pet.
Which animal suits your family best?
A daughter comes home from school and says: “Lisa just got a rabbit, Mum. Can I have one, too? Or a dog? I swear I’d take it for walks, too.” Or are you waiting for the right moment? Then keep in mind that an animal’s habits and needs have to fit into your daily schedule and your family’s routines. And there’s more: An animal can be an enriching addition to a family. For one, children can explore their world together with a pet. A dog can help a shy child to open up more, and the relaxing power of a cat’s rough tongue can make even the most active child settle down for a while. For another, children learn about assuming responsibility, for example, when they feed the animal every day, clean the birdcage or go for walks with the dog. Here we offer a few tips on how to make a cat toy. It’s important that your family decides who will take care of which tasks upfront.
What costs are involved with the different pets?
There are vast differences in the costs of keeping various animals. Dogs are at the top of the list. The costs of food bills, pet taxes, vet bills, insurance and obedience school fees can run several hundred euros a month, depending on the breed. Cats are often covered by your family’s liability insurance policy, but they still need to eat and you need to set aside money for vet bills (approx. €50/month). You can save some costs by building a bed for your cat or dog.
You would have to budget less for a rodent or budgie, for example. Food and vet bills might add up to only €10 to €15 a month, which is far more affordable if you’re looking for a pet. And if you’re looking for an even more affordable option, you could try your hand at building your own birdhouse and then just observe the birds from the comfort of your couch at home.
What is it that you are looking for?
And lastly, the animal should match up perfectly with your personal needs. Here are a few examples: Both children and adults can enjoy the meditative aspect of keeping fish. Exotic or tropical birds such as budgies need companions that are beautiful to behold and provide joy and happiness. As a good alternative for those who work outside the home, you can consider keeping geckos. They require little attention and you don’t need to have had much prior experience with pets. At the same time, a bond can still form with their owner. Small rodents are good for more laid-back people who enjoy observing the animals, otherwise leaving them to their devices. A cat has a will of its own and isn’t always up for playing around. On the other hand, it can entertain itself quite well. A dog is more demanding, requires more time and is more expensive. However, your investment will be paid off with lots of cuddling and undying love.