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THINKING ABOUT GETTING A DOG OR CAT > LOOKING FOR A COMPANION ANIMAL > YOUR PERFECT COMPANION

Your Perfect Companion

When you think about a new cat or dog, what is your dream picture? What do you see yourself doing with your new companion, and how do you see her fitting into your life? Do you want a dog as a jogging partner, or a lap rug while you read the paper? Do you want a cat who constantly explores and plays, or one who will quietly cuddle with you for hours on the couch? Your lifestyle and expectations will be one of the most important factor in selecting the best companion animal for you and your family. Ask yourself:
What do a typical day and week look like for you? It is helpful even to write out a schedule of your day and week, and see where animal care will fit in.
What are the rules of your house?
How active is the house?
How often and to what extent will you exercise the dog? How often will you play with the cat or dog, and how rambunctious do you want the play to be?
Do you have children? What are their ages? Do they have friends over a lot? What is their activity level? Will doors, cabinets, or gates get left open?
Where will the animal have her “downtime” space (to go when she needs a break from the activity of the house)?
Do you travel often?
Do you entertain often?
Where will the animal sleep?
What will it do when you are busy? When you have a party? When you travel? While you’re at work?
What do you expect the animal to provide for you and your family?
Does everyone in the household want the animal?
Can you adjust your routine to the demands of a new canine or feline family member?
Who will provide daily care? Who will provide vacation care?
If you're thinking about a dog, who will take the animal to training class? Will everyone in the family go to class?
How much time will you spend grooming?
How much does fur bother you (don’t just think about allergens, but also about fur on the carpet, the furniture, and your clothes)?
How much money will you spend on: food; the veterinarian; training; toys; grooming; boarding?
   
  Next, consider your needs when choosing a companion animal

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