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Sometimes the Pet You Want Isn’t the Right Fit For You

Sometimes the pets that we want to adopt the most aren’t quite the best fit for us. Be it lifestyle differences, housing problems or an issue with money, some animals don’t suit us the best, and it’s difficult to come to terms with it!

The biggest issue though that I don’t think gets talked about enough, is how someone’s lifestyle and personality may not mesh well with their ideal pet. I, personally, know a good number of people who idealize dogs like Border Collies, Australian Shepherds and other active breeds as their perfect pet. Unfortunately for these people, they happen to consider a night-in watching Netflix as their perfect weekend day, whereas those dog breeds would go a bit crazy staying cooped up like that. 

Patience is an issue as well. It takes a good amount of reflection to realize that you may not have the level of patience necessary when it comes to taking care of rowdy puppies or kittens. Young and active pets tend to be viewed as the perfect new family member by a large number of people, but those same people wouldn’t be able to care for them without getting incredibly frustrated. 

Small animals are like kids; they make messes, get sick and tear things up if they aren’t given the proper level of attention and play. They don’t understand human language, and cannot have things explained to them in a fair way, so disciplining them ends up becoming a matter of disciplining yourself in the process. Some people simply aren’t cut out for this, I know I’m not! 

Personally, I have zero patience when it comes to things like constant messes, I have zero consistency when it comes to training animals and I don’t lead a lifestyle where taking a dog on two hour-long walks per day is reasonable. Putting it plainly, there are a ton of dog breeds that would just be miserable living with me, despite me personally finding them cute. I also wouldn’t be the best owner for any young puppies, as they require a level of training and care that I wouldn’t be able to give them without my patience running thin. 

The best animal for me would be a lazy cat, or an older dog that requires less exercise than their younger counterparts. This would also be the best placement for these animals, as they wouldn’t be stifled by my routine and would be able to go about their day in a way that wouldn’t make them anxious or uneasy. 

While having to come to terms with the fact that you wouldn’t be the ideal owner for your favorite breed of dog, or would be unable to provide the proper stimuli for young animals is saddening, realizing this early on is the best thing that you can do. I see a lot of people who get incredibly active animals when they’re unable to provide the proper level of exercise for them, and their dogs end up miserable. They act out, tear up furniture, irritate their other pets and cause harm to the overall household. 

Saving everyone the stress of having to deal with situations like that is the best thing that you can do, and while having to make the choice to not adopt a breed you’ve been idealizing since childhood, it will lead to better results and more happiness all around if you truly consider whether you may be the best fit as an owner or not. 

Mikaela is a current student of Virginia Commonwealth University.
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