Animals are a lifetime commitment. Small dogs can live upwards of 15 years, while cats can sometimes live over 20. In that 15+ years of life span for either animal, you’ll be caring for an infant, a teenager, and finally a senior. All these life stages require adjusted care and it is important to be prepared for what may come.
Animals cost a small fortune. The American Pet Products Association estimates that in 2017, Americans spent close to $70 billion on their pets. That’s a huge chunk of change! While you yourself won’t be spending that much, with vet bills, toys and treats, and a decent quality food you could be looking at upwards of $2000 a year, which means in your animal’s lifespan you could end up spending between $30 and $40 thousand dollars.
Are you really a dog person? Adding a dog to your family can seem like the final puzzle piece for a quintessential American life, but before you snap that final piece in place, really ask yourself if you’re a dog person. And I don’t mean do you like dogs; I mean do you understand what having a dog means. Do you understand training a dog, do you have the ability to be a firm, authoritative hand in a dog’s life, can you be a pack leader? Dogs need lots of guidance, and if not given the proper training and attention, can become aggressive, fearful, uncontrollable, or even all three. So as you consider whether a puppy would be a good addition to your family, think about what it takes to handle a dog, and if you don’t you think you can quite give a dog what it needs, I would maybe think about getting a cat instead.
There’s much more to consider than what I have laid out for you when it comes to deciding whether to get an animal or not, and whether to give that gift as a holiday gift or not, so hopefully this gave your some food for thought. If you read through this short article and came out the other side still ready to take on the responsibility of a new furry addition to your family than that’s great! And if you realized maybe you’re a cat person instead of a dog person that’s great too! I won’t lie, adding animals to your family is wonderful, and I would have loved getting one as a gift for Christmas, but it’s always good to consider all aspects of what getting a furry companion means.