Choosing a Pet

The relationship between people and pets is special. Whether it is a cat, dog, bird, fish or hamster, a pet can bring an incredible source of joy and companionship to our lives. But bringing a pet into our homes is also a big responsibility.

Those who wish to bring a pet into their families are encouraged to consider their ability to provide for the pet's care in all areas, including food, shelter, grooming, licensing, training, and regular examinations with a veterinarian.

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The American Animal Hospital Association offers some tips on choosing the right pet for your household and family.

Families should plan for the costs of unexpected illness or injury. The ASPCA offers a chart showing the estimated cost of annual care for dogs, cats, and other pets.

 

If your new family member is a puppy or a kitten, it will need special care and attention. Vaccinations are especially important for young pets, to give them the best start possible in life.

All companion pets should be spayed or neutered.

If you are thinking about giving a pet as a gift, you may want to consider these issues first. The best home for a pet is a home for life.

Your veterinarian is another valuable resource for information or questions you may have about choosing a pet.

Published: March 4, 2009;    Updated: November 10, 2011

Filed Under: Animal Care Health Basics

Author: Oregon Veterinary Medical Association

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