Choosing the Right Pet

A pet can enrich your life in many ways and are often an important part of family life. Choosing the right pet is essential to avoiding heartache and disappointment, and ensuring that you and your pet are together for life. Looking at your family’s ability to care for a pet can determine whether you need a low-maintenance pet like a fish or hamster, or one that requires more time and energy.

You can find books and articles on the internet to help you select the right pet, but these questions are a good place to start:

How much time and energy are you able to give a pet?

  • Are both adults working?
  • Are your children old enough to help take care of the animal?

What is your living situation?

  • Do you live in an apartment?
  • Have a fenced yard?
  • Rent or own?
  • Live with parents or planning to move soon?

What ages are your family members?

  • Are they too young to be left alone with a pet unsupervised?
  • Are they old enough to help take care of the animal?
  • Are there elderly people in the home who may be vulnerable to an overactive pet?

Do any family members have allergies or fears about certain types of pets?

Is the family in agreement about owning a pet?

Where will the pet spend its time?

Asking yourself these questions will help you decide if a dog or cat is a better choice, or if a bird or rabbit would better suit your lifestyle. Once your choice has been narrowed down, come talk to us.  Our shelter staff are experts in helping you choose the right pet for your situation.

Source: The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County