By Dr. Beth Engelbert, DVM
Wildwood Animal Hospital and Clinic LLC
The decision to get a pet should take a lot of consideration and planning. Depending on which type of pet you are looking at, it may be a 15-year commitment. Cost is a factor, but pet ownership is a time commitment as well.
Costs include the pet purchase or adoption fee, supplies, food, and veterinary visits. Dogs, cats, and ferrets need routine vaccinations and examinations for life. Reptiles, rabbits, and rodent pets should also have wellness checks.
Your lifestyle plays an important role in pet selection.
Do you work long hours? Do you travel a lot? Are you active outdoors, or do you mostly stay indoors? Do you have a house with a yard, or are you in an apartment?
If you are away from home a lot, perhaps a cat or a rabbit would be better than a dog. Though, keep in mind even these types of animals still need attention.
If you are considering a dog, remember they need to be let outside regularly and require exercise. Breed characteristics should be considered over looks. If certain breed traits do not fit with your lifestyle, neither you nor the dog will be happy.
Does the breeder select for certain traits? For example, “working lines” need a job and may need more of an outlet than a “pet line.” If you do not want a purebred dog, knowing what breeds are in a mix may help predict the dog’s personality. DNA tests are available to analyze mixed breed dogs.
Not sure where to find a dog or cat?
Humane societies are wonderful sources for a new pet. They occasionally have rabbits, guinea pigs, and other exotic pets as well. The staff at the humane society may have an idea of a pet’s personality and whether or not a particular pet would be a good fit for you.
Local kennel clubs are also a great resource for finding reputable breeders for purebred pets. Veterinarians may also know of local breeders.
Not looking for a young puppy or kitten but want a specific breed? There are many breed-specific rescue organizations that can help you find a new friend.
Wildwood Animal Hospital and Clinic LLC is located at 210 Airpark Road in Marshfield and online at wildwoodanimalhospital.net.