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5 things to consider before getting a pet

Buddy the Shih Tzu with his toy and treats, Dec. 4 at his home in Austin. Pets are a big responsibility and take a lot of time and care.
Photo by: | Staff Photographer

The thought of having a pet may sound rewarding, but responsibilities are often forgotten when it comes to taking care of man’s best friend.

To help prevent this from happening and to relieve the stress of becoming a pet owner, here are a few things to know before bringing a new animal into your home.


Anthony Ledet, chemistry senior, said he believes people give pets away because of unrealistic finical expectations.

“People realize that they can barely afford to take care of their pets,” Ledet said. “They didn’t expect dog food to be so costly, as well as vet fees, housing fees and grooming fees.”

If you live in an apartment complex or renter’s home, consider whether the apartment complex asks for pet deposits or a pet monthly rent fee.

Don’t forget to consider the necessities, such as food bowls, leashes, collars and kennels.

When choosing what food to feed your animal, research different brands and choose a food according to the breed and size of your new friend.

Veterinary Visits

Before adopting or buying a new pet, consider the trips and medical bills it may bring in.

Assuring your pet has received all necessary vaccinations will help prevent unexpected veterinary fees.

Emily Young, client service coordinator with Banfield Hospital, said keeping up with a pet’s shot records can help avoid animals being euthanized.

“Fully vaccinate them,” Young said. “If they aren’t fully vaccinated, don’t take them into public places and don’t take them to dog parks.”

Do Research

Learning an animal’s life expectancy, the types of temperaments they may have and how to train them properly will ease the stress of taking care of a pet.

Considerate pet owners may realize the pet of their choice might be easier or harder to take care of than expected.

Ledet believes people give up their animals because of the lack of knowledge about the breed and behaviors.

“Some dogs or pets can become aggressive and unruly without proper training,” Ledet said. “The only option some people have is to give their pets away or place them in a better home where they can be taken care of.”


To make the process of potty-training easier, new pet owners may consider forming a schedule.

A schedule may help your pet become adjusted faster and easier.

Lizbeth Porras, business finance senior, said training pets can take a lot of time and patience.

“People probably don’t have the time to take care of them because it’s like having a kid,” Porras said. “They always need time and attention.”

Time and Attention

Much too often, pets are left alone with no one to take care of them and kept in cages until their owner comes home.

Young said pet owners should keep in mind the exercise an animal needs to stay healthy.

If living in a small home or apartment complex, Young said pet owners should maintain daily walks and play time.

“Some dogs are okay with living in smaller spaces,” Young said. “Make sure if you’re living in an apartment that the pet has an abundant amount of space to roam around depending on the size and energy of the dog.”