Is this your first time choosing a pet? Alternatively perhaps you’re wanting to add to your menagerie? Either way, picking the right pet for you and your family isn’t as easy as a trip to the pet store. There’s plenty of things to think about before making a final decision, such as the space you have, the time you can dedicate and the cash you want to spend. To make it a little easier for you, we’ve put together 4 easy steps to picking that perfect pet.

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1. Work out your budget

The first, most important step, is to work out the budget for your new pet. If you have pennies to spare then it’s not worth looking at ponies and pedigrees. Those with a small budget should think small animal; hamsters, mice, rats and gerbils. A slightly bigger budget is needed for something such as a reptile, which will need a lot of equipment to start. If you have a medium to large sized budget then you’re probably looking at cats and dogs. Remember, it’s not just the cost of the animal to begin with; bear in mind food costs, equipment, vets bills and grooming.

2. Size up your space

Next on the list is to work out how much space you have to offer an animal. Will they be getting their own bedroom, or confined to the top of a sideboard? It makes sense to stick with smaller animals or reptiles if living in a top floor studio flat, as dogs and cats need a lot more space than you may think. Consider the outside space for your new pet too. If you live on a main road then will your new kitten be safe roaming around? Cats and dogs that are kept inside all of the time may have behavioural problems including spraying, chewing and scratching furniture! If you have a small space and not a lot of time to dedicate to your animal then please do consider getting a low maintenance pet.

3. Use your friends and family

Has your best friend got a small dog that chews up her carpets? Does your sister regret getting the hamster that spins its wheel all night? Talking to friends and family with pets will give you a real perspective of what certain pets are like to live with. It won’t be all bad though, of course! Your best friend may hate her pooch chewing, but cannot wait to get home from work for cuddles. Your sister loves the low maintenance aspect of her pet hamster. It is worth asking if you can pet sit for a day or two, to get first hand experience of what a new pet may be like.

4. Finding that perfect pet

How easy is your chosen pet to find? If you’re looking for marmoset monkey then where is it going to come from? Fish, reptiles and small mammals tend to be found in pet shops, whereas monkeys cannot. Use the power of the internet to find out where there are cats, kittens, dogs and puppies for sale that are local to you. Sometimes you may have to travel a little while to pick up your perfect pet, but it will be worth it when they become part of the family.

Pets are the perfect addition to any home, as long as you choose the one that works with your dynamics. When you have followed these 4 steps, it should quickly become clear what animal is going to fit in nicely with your home life. Happy pet hunting!

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