Worried About Pet Care? Here’s How to Balance Your Pets, Job, and Life

Adulting, Author: Claire Greene

When I  just graduated from college, I made the decision to get a cat. I am a natural animal lover and thought a cat would make a great companion in my postgrad apartment. I decided I wanted to get a black cat because I read that a great deal of black cats are bought and then abandoned around Halloween, and I wanted to give one a good home.

I decided to look at shelters and adopt. I met one and fell in love with him, and I named him Binx. He ended up rescuing me. I love him with all my heart, and I would do anything to ensure him a happy life.

It’s very easy to fall in love with a pet quickly — they become so a part of our little families — but keep in mind that getting a pet is a big decision. We want to make sure that our furry friends have what they need — in spite of your schedule. Here are some tips to do just that.

Research the breed, species, and number of pets
Before you purchase or adopt a pet, research the specific type of animal you are considering getting. You should know the demands of your specific animal type. If you get a dog, you should know the specific breed. If you get a sporting dog, you are going to have to be prepared for a high energy dog that is going to need to exercise quite a bit. Get ready for lots of hikes, runs and swims.

If you get a dog as a puppy, make sure you know how big they will be at full size. You don’t want to have a Great Dane in a tiny apartment. If you get a bird, research its diet. A budgie needs lots of fruits and veggies, but make sure you know which ones can be harmful! To give your pet a long life, you have to know what they need.

Know which type of animal works best with your schedule
The reason I decided to get a cat and not a dog was simple: I did not have the time to put in the responsibility having a dog entails. I was living by myself, worked an accounting job and went to school.

With a cat, you do not have to be home every hour to take it outside to use the facilities. You can leave a cat alone for the night and as long as there is enough food and water — it is not a big deal. A dog cannot be on his or her own for more than a couple hours. While I am a dog lover, I would not have been able to give it the proper care.

Do what is best for your animal, not what is best for you
The hardest thing about owning a pet is learning to separate what is best for you from what is best for your animal. For example, if your cat is scratching up your furniture, is it best to declaw? My answer would be no.

While in the past declawing has always been an acceptable form of corrective therapy, what many cat owners are unaware of is that declawing is not simply the removal of the nail. It is actually the complete amputation of the joint. In humans, it would be like the removal of the entire finger to the third knuckle. The moral of the story? Always do your research before you make a decision regarding your pet.

Know your pet!
If you love your pet, you really can’t go wrong. Pay attention to what makes your pet happy. Each animal is different.


Make sure you take your animal to the vet for their routine checks. Also, don’t forget that it is just not the initial expense. After investing in an animal, there are other expenditures that you will routinely have to accommodate for, i.e vet bills, food, etc. — and incorporate that into your budget.

We love our animals. They give us unconditional love, a friend and a sense of responsibility. Make sure you can give them what they need in return.

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