We all know the feeling when you walk past a pet store. The warm eyes of a kitten looking at you… Who can resist the hopeful eyes of a small puppy? We can easily fall in love with a new furry friend.
We promise ourselves to treat it as our newest family member. A decision to buy a pet is often a highly emotional (and ad hoc) decision which typically involves children as well. It is relatively easy to buy a pet, though it will involve more than you initially think. Adding a new member to the family comes with decisions on planning, commitment and financial consequences.
If you are about to take that decision we have the top 5 questions for you. Answer these before becoming a pet owner.
1. Why do you want a pet dog or cat?
Honestly establishing the reason why you want a pet is important because it enables a fair assessment as to the level of commitment you and your family members are able to give. Commitment is important since a pet will be part of your daily life for many years to come with all its ups and downs and challenges.
2. How will a pet fit into your lifestyle?
Will a pet fit your lifestyle? A pet takes your time, attention and will need lots of care. A dog or a cat needs to be fed, watered, washed, walked, talked to and loved. This should not be a one-man’s job if you have a family. Talk with your family who will be responsible. Are they willing to do it now and for the coming 10-15 years?
If you have never owned a pet before, do note that taking care of a pet can take up more time than expected and also can limit your way of living. For instance, going on a week trip seems easy but someone needs to take care of your pet and you need to arrange that.
Rule of thumb, if you cannot be home on a daily basis or can make arrangements whenever you’re not home, don’t become a pet owner! If you and members of your family’s lifestyle are characterised by being out of the house as much as possible, then owning a pet is not a smart move.
3. Does your home meet your pet’s needs?
Many Singaporeans live in high-rise condo apartment blocks or HDB’s, it is important that your pet can adapt to this way of living as well. High-rise buildings with balcony’s and cat exploring that balcony can be risky. If you live on the top floor of a high-rise without any balcony, you always need to escort your dog to get outside via an elevator and walk him or her. Consider the proximity of a nice park to your home so you can walk your dog. If you need to travel by bus or MRT to get to a park this might not work out.
As important is also the living space inside, since most apartments and houses are small in Singapore. A pet will take up some space as well to be moving around, sleeping but also storing the supplies. When you’re assessing, do consider your neighbours or people living with you. They might not be into being snuffed upon or constantly be barked at.
Lastly, be sure to check with your landlord or read your rental agreement what type of pet is allowed.
4. Are you committed to your new friend for the long run?
Buying a pet dog or cat is not the same as buying a new phone or TV. A new pet is a medium-long-term commitment for years to come. In today’s world, we tend to move over to the next new exciting thing quite quickly; you cannot do that with a pet. It is sad to say but the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) has many pets who were neglected by their former owners who could not meet the demands of their furry family member. You don’t want to be that person to do that.
5. Do you know the costs of owning a pet?
In a previous article, we have listed regular expenses for Singaporeans who own a cat or dog. It is not only the initial purchase. The easy things are food, toys, bedding, grooming, cages and so on. Keeping your pet happy and healthy is good for your budget but also comes at a cost.
It is smart to protect yourself and your household from unexpected costs such as immediate (expensive) health care or medical attention. If you do not have Pet Insurance these medical bills can become easily high. For instance, a visit to a vet can be S$100 up to S$500 and a hospital bill can range from S$1000 up to S$20,000! Or, what about if your lovely furry friend gets a chronical disease? Maybe your pet dog loses it and attacks a person. These are issues to consider when you look for a suitable Pet Insurance on our platform.
Becoming a pet owner should be fun as well
First of all, becoming a pet owner should be fun! Of course, you will love your new pet, but be smart and understand what you get yourself into. Give it some thought and discuss with family members, friends and assess your lifestyle, living conditions and financial situation. When you consider these factors, we are sure you make the right decision and your future pet with be grateful for that.
We love to hear from you. What are your experiences and challenges? What was the one thing that influenced your decision? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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