Deciding Which Pet To Get

Dated: 01/17/2019

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It’s easy to remember. There was probably an early childhood rendition of your living situation, proudly hanging on the refrigerator, complete in crayon, that included your house, the sun, maybe some clouds, and of course everyone who lived in your house along with you. For many, this picture could have included the pets living in your house: a cat? A dog? A fish? A turtle? Flash forward to adulthood, and if you’ve been tossing around the idea of bringing a pet home to complete your true-life portrait, here’s some basic considerations to prepare for a warm reception and life-long home for your new addition.

When considering which pet to get, it has been recommended to think P-E-T-S—Place, Exercise, Time and Spend. Choosing the right pet to welcome home can be overwhelming and breaking down the needs of the pet that you’re thinking of getting can help to make your decision.

P: Place. All pets will need space to run and play. A dog would need regular access to a secure outdoor area, and many cats also enjoy being able to get outdoors. Rabbits and guinea pigs need access to a place, albeit smaller, to be able to run, too. A turtle or hamster or reptile would need a smaller caged area, and fish and birds their aquarium or cage.

E: Exercise. Are you the type that loves long walks, anytime of the year, and doesn’t mind muddy paws? Do you like to spend time walking and spending time outside, but enjoy shorter walks? Maybe you’re not very active, and don’t like to spend time outdoors? A dog may enjoy regular walks and supervised off-lead times. The amount of exercise will of course depend on their breed, age and health. All pets enjoy playing with toys to keep them active, and for smaller pets you can easily do this in your house.

T: Time. Pets are generally social, and dogs especially love company, and shouldn’t be left alone for too long, day after day. In addition, walking, feeding, training, grooming, and cleaning up after a pet can take time, and can really add up depending on the pet in your home. How much time do you have to devote to a pet? Are you home most of the time with flexibility to care for your pet? Are you out of the house for much of the day, but then when you’re home, you have time to give your pet attention? Or are you very busy with very little free time? Being honest with yourself with how much time you have to devote to a pet, and choosing a pet that matches that availability, will help for a smooth transition as you welcome them home.

S: Spend. How much can you afford every month for your pet? We’re usually prepared for the initial costs to bring home a new addition, including the purchase price of the pet, the food and bedding supplies, toys, and veterinarian costs. It’s important to remember the ongoing monthly costs to keep a pet happy and healthy: nutritious food, bedding, flea and tick repellent, vet bills, etc. Over the lifetime of an animal it can add up, and it’s wise to consider the cost of your pet not only for the initial investment, but for their lifetime, which, depending on the species and breed, could be 2, 5, or 10 or more years down the road.

 It’s a dream of many to complete their childhood imagery of their homelife and bring home a pet to love. It’s important to research as much as you can about the species and breed of the pet that you’re considering ensuring that your situation is a perfect match for them, and for you. Speaking with other people who have owned that species and breed and seeking additional consul from a veterinarian prior to bringing home a pet is good advice. Knowing to think P-E-T-S before getting your pet is a good place to start.

Melissa Rolland is a Real Estate Salesperson and Realtor®, Accredited Home Stager, and author of the book Straight from the Kitchen Table: Every Day Real Estate. She lives in Tolland, CT along with her husband Todd, an Associate Broker and Realtor®. Together they manage the Rolland Realty Group powered by eXp Realty of CT, LLC. You can connect with them at or (866) 408-8059.“The statements and opinions contained in this article are solely those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect the positions or opinions of EXP REALTY INTERNATIONAL, INC. or its subsidiaries or affiliates (the “Company”). The Company does not assume any responsibility for, nor does it warrant the accuracy, completeness or quality of the information provided.

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Melissa and Todd Rolland

Melissa Rolland is a real estate salesperson, accredited home stager and has been a real estate investor for over a decade, helping hundreds of homeowners buy houses, sell houses, and invest in real e....

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