BEFORE GETTING A PET
Should You Get A Pet?
A pet is a living thing that needs to be cared for its entire lifetime and keeping a pet comes with its responsibilities, not unlike having a child.
Here are some points to consider very carefully before you get a pet.
Pets are not for everyone
Before getting a pet, check with everyone in your family first. Pets can provide common ground for family activities and bonding but if not everyone wants a pet, the family may end up quarrelling. This may cause unhappiness at home and the pet may end up being abandoned.
Pets need to be taken care of for their entire lives
When you decide to have a pet, you need to commit to it for the rest of its life. Find out the average lifespan of the type of pet that you want. Will you be changing your lifestyle or have other major commitments during that time? Some people find that they are unable to cope with a pet when they move or start a family or when they change jobs.
Pets take time and money!
The amount of time we need to spend on a pet varies but in general we need to set aside time to feed, bathe and groom, train, exercise and play with them. We also need to spend money on cages, feed bowls, food, accessories and veterinary bills. These costs may add up to a substantial amount. Most, such as food or even grooming accessories, are also not once-off expenses but need to be paid for the rest of the pet’s life. Visit the Pet Facts section for more on the type of items you need to get for your pet.
Pets should not be allowed to disturb others
Pet owners also have to be considerate to others by obeying laws, cleaning up after their pets in public places, ensuring that their pets do not disturb other people and getting their pets sterilised.
Be a considerate pet owner and both you and your pet will be happy!
What Pet Should I Get?
There are many types of pets to choose from and getting a pet that suits you will go a long way to ensuring happy pet ownership.
However, not all types of animals can be kept as pets. Exotic pets such as the star tortoises, iguanas, tarantulas, scorpions, snakes, salamanders, sugar gliders, hedgehogs, slow lorises, gibbons, etc. are not allowed to be kept as pets.
In general, the following types of animals can be approved for sale in pet shops:
The types of animals each pet shop can sell are listed on the shop's Pet Shop Licence.
When choosing your pet, ask yourself the following questions first:
What level of care does the pet require?
Different types of pets have different characteristics and requirements. Dogs, for example, require a lot of time and attention from the owner for exercise as well as training. Some pets (e.g. dogs and parrots) can make a lot of noise if left alone for many hours in the day. Long haired or wire haired pets may need regular grooming such as brushing and trimming, and herbivores such as rabbits and guinea pigs need their cage cleaned out everyday. Find out as much as you can about the pet, such as the type of housing, environment, food, exercise and grooming the pet needs before getting one. You can start at our Library section.
How much money is required to take care of the pet?
Pets need items such as suitable food, grooming tools, spacious and comfortable housing (cage, bed, etc.), professional grooming, veterinary attention, training lessons, etc. All these costs can add up and some of the items, like a haircut for your dog or a trip to the veterinarian’s may be more costly than your own haircut or doctor’s visit! Take a trip to the pet store and ask those who already have pets to get an estimate of the expenses. Drop by our Library section to get an idea of what you have to get for your pet.
What is the temperament and personality of the pet?
Choose a pet whose temperament and personality suits your lifestyle. For example, if you need an affectionate pet, a fish may not be for you. If you want a pet that can be trained to understand your commands, you may want to get a dog instead of a hamster. Consider your own hobbies and preferences. If you prefer a rest at home to outdoor activities, you may want to get a pet that likes that too, instead of one that constantly wants to go for a walk or play ball.
Look at our Pet Facts to learn more about each type of pet, their characteristics and how best to take care of them. Get a pet that you can take care of and enjoy as a companion for the rest of its life.