How to Choose the Right Pet
The first problem you face when choosing a pet for yourself or your family is the kind of animal to buy. Your options are usually a dog, cat, fish or a bird. This article will advise on the best decision to make.
You need to decide whether you want a pet mainly for companionship or also for exercise or to perform the role of a guard dog, for example. If you are considering a cat, there are around 59 different breeds to select from. You may wish to choose a breed of cat that sheds less hair in which case you should select a Siamese, for example.
If choosing a dog, go for a breed that is not too excitable if you have young children and do not buy a large jumping breed like a Dalmatian or potentially dangerous breed for children like a German Shepherd or killer breed such as an American Pit Bull.
In the case of a fish or bird as a pet, you should not assume that these animals will be low maintenance. A fish requires quite a lot of looking after to keep it healthy and its tank needs regular cleaning. Similarly with a bird's cage.
If you are choosing the pet for a family, it may be a good idea to discuss it with your children and even bring them along to the dog or cat breeder to see how they relate to the pet. My parents did that for me as an 11 year old and the dog we chose was the one that instantly bonded with me by greeting me with great enthusiasm.
Other issues you need to consider are whether you or your children suffer from allergies that could be triggered off or made worse by a cat or a dog for example. If you or any member of your family suffers from allergies, I would say reconsider any decision to buy a pet of any kind. Pets and allergies do not mix. However, if you feel a pet is essential for companionship or whatever reason, get your allergies checked out by a doctor and ask for advice on the best option in the way of a low allergy risk pet.
Most people benefit from having a family pet - especially children. They are great company and in the case of a dog a great way to force yourself to have regular exercise. But you need to realize there is no such thing as a zero maintenance pet. Every pet will require some real work to look after it. You must be prepared to put in the effort and look after any animal you get as a family pet.