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6 Signs that Your Family is Ready for a Pet

6 Signs that Your Family is Ready for a Pet

You’re having a day out at the local park with your family when a cute poodle and her owner walk by. Suddenly, your daughter ignites the “can we get a dog?” conversion, making sure she throws in just the right amount of sadness and despair in her voice. This time, instead of throwing the standard “No, you are not ready for a pet yet” response, you actually consider introducing a new member to the family but are worried about the challenges.

You’re not alone. Many families often have a difficult time deciding when to introduce a new furry member to the family, especially when there are kids involved. Living with a pet is a huge responsibility that requires a lot of patience and support from each family member.

Before you introduce that fluffy friend into the family, check to see if your family meets these requirements.

1. You are allowed to keep pets in your area

One of the many perks of owning a standalone home is the freedom to set your own rules, including whether or not to adopt a pet. Plus, if your home comes with a large enough yard, your pet dog can run around freely.

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Apartments don’t usually come with the same level of freedom. Many apartment buildings often have restrictions on the type and size of the pets allowed within the building.

You should also check with the authorities in the area you live for breeds that aren’t allowed. For instance, Staffordshire bull terriers, American pit bull terriers, and related dog breeds are illegal in the county of Miami-Dade, Florida.

2. No one in the family has pet allergies

In the US, over 15% of the entire population is allergic to cats and dogs.[1] Acute allergic reactions have been known to cause death and numerous visits to emergency rooms across the country.

Before getting a dog, a cat, or any other pet, ensure everyone at home has been tested for allergies, especially the older members of the family. Kids usually outgrow allergies and most often develop immunity against allergens.

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3. Free Time

Dogs and many other pets often require owners to commit a significant amount of time to care for them. They have to be trained on etiquette around the house, walked regularly, fed, washed, and socialized with other family members. You should identify at least one or two members of your family who have enough time each day to hang out with the pet, especially if it’s a dog.

Spending time with your pet will enable you to become a good animal whisperer, which will help you become a better pet owner.

Once you have the time aspect covered, you’ll be at least halfway on the journey to adopting your next pooch or cat.

4. Financial Capability

Apart from the money you spend when adopting your pet, you should also be prepared to spend extra cash on a daily or weekly basis on things like food and preventative care. Pets like dogs and cats will usually need to be neutered or sprayed before being adopted. Recurrent expenses on food, toys, cleaning supplies, and routine or emergency visits to the vet should also be factored in when adopting a pet.

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Therefore, always factor in the amount of disposal income(s) in the family when bringing in a pet into your lives.

5. Everyone in the family is on board

Imagine bringing a labrador home and then realizing your teenage kid is terrified of dogs. Many pet owners often make the mistake of assuming everyone else loves dogs, cats, or other pets. Adding a new member to the family should be a joint decision, with each member of the family involved in the decision-making process.

Duties and responsibilities should be shared out among family members, including the kids.

6. You’re ready to learn

New pets always come with a steep learning curve. Owners must learn about how to keep their pets safe and healthy, including proper nutrition and knowing when to take the pet to a vet. Invest in training for members of your family who are willing to learn, including the kids.

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Educated pet owners in the family are more likely to raise happy and healthy pets compared to those who leave everything to chance.

Bottom Line

Being a pet owner is a fulfilling achievement, especially when the whole family is on board. It also comes with its own set of challenges, so make sure you and your family are prepared before taking that step.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay.com via pixabay.com

Reference

[1]Pet Education: Human Allergies to Dogs

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Vikas Agrawal

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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