Five Things to Consider Before Getting a Pet

Recently, I learned that I can’t be trusted in a pet store. I went in to waste some time and play with the animals, but instead, stayed for two hours and considered buying a $4,100 puppy. The night ended with me in tears. Since then, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it actually takes to be a pet owner. In my research, I’ve found a few things to consider before purchasing a furry friend.

1. Can you afford it?

According to the ASPCA, the first year of pet ownership costs about $1,000. This includes one-time costs, which total to about $565 for a dog and $365 for a cat. Likewise, a dog or a cat costs about $700 annually.

2. Does your residence allow it?

If you live on campus, your school will likely only permit animals that are certified emotional support or service animals. The same rules may apply if you are renting an apartment or house. Likewise, you need to consider the amount of space available and the energy level of your pet. And don’t forget, you will need to consider your roommates and neighbors when making your decision.

3. Do you have time for a pet?

Pets are a big commitment. If you work long days and are out of the house for extended periods of time, it can be unfair and unsafe for your pet, especially with untrained young pets that are not housebroken yet.


4. Love and Companionship

There are many positive aspects to owning a pet, such as the love pets give to their owners. Pets promote a feeling of happiness to their owners, as well as relieving stress. Pets love their owners, and the uncomplicated exchange of affection has been proven to be beneficial to both the pet and the owner. Pets help to keep their owners from feeling socially isolated and can even encourage interaction with other pet owners. Support animals stabilize their owners’ mental and emotional needs and can be diagnosed by doctors for their benefits to personal well-being.

5. Health

In addition to the mental health benefits found in loving a pet, owning a pet encourages a way to be physically active too. Pets with a lot of energy, usually dogs, need walks and owners who will play with them. This is healthy for the pet and the owner and establishes good routines and bonding between pet and owner. Also, humans can benefit just from petting their animal. Studies show that this can lower your heart rate, reducing your risk for heart disease.


Buying or adopting a pet is a decision that requires thought, but it might be the best decision you make. Make sure you really think it through before committing to bring a pet into your family and if you do, love them, because they love you!