It’s not rocket science, but when you decide to finally shelter a pet inside your house, it’s mostly run by intuition. And with all the cute animals that you can bring home, it can be hard to decide which one to take—should you go for that wide-eyed, big pawed puppy, or a fish in an aquarium should suffice? Are rabbits a good choice or should you give cats a chance? This is the first hard task of the first time pet parent!

 

 

Other than going with your guts, though, there are more things to consider when you try your hand at taking care of a living creature. The question at hand is: How do you choose the right pet for you? Consider these five pointers before you leap into the world of pet parenthood and a lifetime of responsibility—be honest with yourself and in a matter of days, you’ll be able to decide who’s your true pet match. Read on!

 

1. Find a pet that suits your personality. First things first, the right pet should be reflective of yourself, too. Is a grumpy cat too much of a snob for you? Or do you easily get tired that you can’t handle a hyperactive dog? Or does the idea of raising a fish too boring? After all, your chosen pet will be living with you. You pet must complement your mood and your attitude—taking care of a pet compatible with you will be a breeze!

 

2. Be ready for commitment. Just like enrolling in gym classes or maintaining your hanging plants at home, getting a pet is a commitment—and a serious one at that. It’ll depend on you for its survival, so check yourself if you’re prepared to have another responsibility on your shoulder. Once you get your hand with your pet, it’s yours to oversee and raise—make sure you’re mentally and emotionally prepared!

 

3. Get a lifestyle check. Now that you’ve accepted the challenge of raising a pet, it should match your lifestyle as well. If you like low maintenance pets whom you can leave whenever you’re out on a trip or spending late nights with friends, guinea pigs, hamsters, fish, cats, and birds are your best bet. These animals require little attention, and food ration often requires only a minimum. If you don’t mind spending hours playing, lounging around, or going on grooming salons, different dog breeds would agree with you. Imagine spending me-time pampering yourself and your dog—it’s quite a cute scenario, isn’t it?

 

4. Make sure that you can handle the cost. As they say, having a pet is similar to having your own child—minus the education. Given this, expect to spend on expenses like food, vet, grooming, toys, and other utilities. Get a pet that you can afford to raise. Say, long-haired pals require consistent salon visits, and if you’re not up for that kind of maintenance cost, go for ones with short fur. Or you find that cat food is too much for you to shop every week and fish feed looks more manageable, think if an aqua buddy is more economical instead of a carnivore pet.

 

5. Consider rescue pets. If you’re a believer of, ‘Adopt, don’t shop!’ chances are, pets from shelters are possible matches. Organizations like PAWS and CARA house abandoned but beautiful dogs and cats, and are always up for adoption. Try to visit and get a feel of these strays, and who knows—you might just meet your pet soulmate when you least expect it