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Emotional & Rational decisions when buying a suitable family Pet

There are many aspects that influence us when selecting a family Pet.

As listed below I divided it in 2 groups for now:

- Emotional & Rational decisions

Over the many years I have helped pet dog owners to train, exercise and care for their Pets many times I wish they had been more Rational then Emotional specially when selection a new suitable Pet for their household. Many problems can be prevented if more knowledge about that particular Pet is gathered before they buy it. This would help future cases of unwanted pets been surrendered to animal shelters simply because they were the wrong choice for that particular person.

In the case of puppies/ dogs breed selection this often happens a great deal.


  • My favourite type of Pet / Animal

  • Previous experiences

  • My family preferences

  • How cute the Pet is: but it looked so gorgeous on the pet shop window... decision based on 'Looks'

  • I always had a ....

  • I'd love to rescue an unwanted shelter animal...

  • Companionship & something fluffy to cuddle

  • Advertising and impulse buying influences

  • Someone told me this type of Pet/ Animal would be great for me...

  • But my son wants a puppy to play with so they can grow together...

  • Other factors...


  • Do I have enough time for it? For eg. to walk the dog on a daily basis, to spend enough time with it since I work full time...

  • The size of my backyard

  • Do I have enough space to keep it?

  • What do I need to buy in advance before I bring the Pet home?

  • Who will look after it when I'm away at work or on holidays?

  • COST: Can I afford it? How much does it cost to keep it per year?

  • Who is going to train it and commit to it?

  • What if it gets sick? Which Vet to choose?

  • Do I know enough about this dog/cat/horse/rabbit breed?

  • Where do I get all the information from? I need to do my homework first before selecting it.

  • How demanding is the pet for my attention. Note: dog is high on the list here. All pets require attention, love & care but a dog needs a lot more of it as they are very dependent of their human owners -and if it isn't managed properly it can become destructive and do a lot of property damage when not enough mentally and physically stimulated.

Close Estimated Annual Costs in keeping different Pets/ Animals:

HORSES: Around $ 4,500 - $ 6,000 per year, 1 horse only

Including: Agistment, feed- grain & hay, worming, hooves trimmed/ shod, basic tack, 1 Vet check, basic grooming products

Extra: horse riding lessons, special herb products to mix into the feed, float

DOGS: Around $ 3,000 - $ 4,000 pet year. 1 dog only

Including: pet food, grooming products, dog toys, lead/ walking harness, annual Vet check, dog wash, clipping service costs can vary a lot depending on the dog breed

Extra: dog training, dog walker, dog day care, pet sitting, boarding kennel

CATS: Around $ 2,500- $ 3,000 per year. 1 cat only

Including: cat food, grooming, kitty litter, cat toys, scratching pole, annual Vet check

Extra: pet sitting, cattery

RABBITS: Around $ 300 per year. 1 rabbit. But normally rabbits need a companion and shouldn't live alone.

Rabbit food, litter tray & pellets, hay, toys, straw, annual Vet check, grooming kit, worming

Extra: rabbit hutch

GUINEA PIGS: Around $ 250 per year. 1 guinea pig. They need a companion so buy 2 of them.

Including: pet food, worming, vegetables

Extra: hutch

Need of owner's Attention/ Independence Factor of each type of Pet/ Animal listed above:

HORSE: needs daily feeding, love and care specially at wintertime when feed needs to be supplemented due to lack of nutritional value in the grass.

Independent. Loves attention but needs the herd a lot.

DOG: needs daily feeding, love, care and daily walks

Very Dependent of its owners - emotionally High Attention needed.

Can be left alone but needs to be set up for success on this with proper training and enough mental and physical stimulation when home alone otherwise it may develop separation anxiety.

CAT: needs daily feeding, love and care including changing kitty litter at least every 2 days

Can be Independent and chooses when to come to you.

On his/ her terms.

RABBIT: needs daily feeding, love and care including changing litter tray at least every 2 days

More Independent and dislikes been picked up all the time.

Need another rabbit for companion.

GUINEA PIGS: needs daily feeding, love and care including changing litter tray at least every 2 days

More Independent and shyer type of animal. Pick it up for shorter periods of time. Needs another guinea pig for companion.

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