Think before you buy!

It is irresponsible to buy animals on a whim.


Joseph Hyman

Junior Joseph Hyman takes a selfie with his pet cat.

If you see a cute puppy in the pet store, do you bring it home?

It might seem like a cool idea, but if you are not prepared, you could be setting up you and that puppy up for disaster by bringing it home.

 It’s all too easy to buy a cute looking parakeet at the pet store when you were actually there to buy toys for your friend’s new dog. Or you heard an acquaintance’s cat had babies that need homes and see no other option but to skedaddle over to those kittens on your first impulse. 

Some people genuinely do not see the harm in bringing home a pet with barely any consideration. Many pets being adorable, it is easy to see how they pull on our heartstrings. But fast decisions, especially for things as important as pets, can turn into painful regrets. It’s kind of like getting a tattoo, except tattoos won’t suffer in the care of someone who has no idea how to take care of them.

Bringing new animals into your home is an important decision that requires more research and thinking. Without research, you might not realize what you need to take care of your pets properly. For example, if you buy a parakeet, you should be aware of how long you´ll be taking care of it: 5-10 years. You also need to be aware of their emotional, housing, feeding, and veterinary needs. A potential parakeet owner that does not research may not realize which toys are safe, what size cage they need, what kind of food they should get, how much they should feed their parakeet, when the pet shows signs that it needs a vet, and whether or not there is a veterinarian that can handle birds in their area. And that´s just one example. 

Even more common pets that most people know about, such as cats, still need research and careful consideration. Between litter, toys and treats, carrying crates, litter boxes, pet insurance, and scratching posts, spaying/neutering, the initial medical exam, the cost of caring for the cat in the first year is about $1,000. You also need to consider the time it takes to play with your cat and clean up after it. Even after all that, you still need to research. Even though they are common pets, some people don’t know that many essential oils are toxic to cats, that cats are lactose intolerant, and that long-haired cats make more hairballs. 

Another thing some people don’t consider while buying pets is that sometimes pets and certain people don´t mix. Puppies may be cute, but they can be destructive if you don ́t puppy-proof your home. African grey parrots are adorable geniuses, but they ́re super neurotic and require an experienced bird owner. Also, birds stink. Some breeds of dogs are prone to separation anxiety and might not be a good fit for someone that’s not home a lot. 

So unless you´re down for a really sucky time for both you and your potential pet, it’s best to stop yourself, research, and consider.