The most important aspect of obtaining a new pet is the long term commitment that comes with it. Many animals live a long life and in some cases may outlive their owners. Consider as an example that some birds like the Macaws can live up to 80 years. Turtles have a long lifespan and have been known to live between 50 to 100 years. In any case, adopting a pet is a long term commitment. Caring for an animal comes with its share of expenses. Most pet owners will spend between $700 to $2000 on initial food, pet supplies, and medical bills the first year alone. This excludes miscellaneous costs like obedience training, pet-grooming, and pet-sitting. Cats require such things as litter boxes, litter, and scratch furniture whereas dogs require collars, leashes, and chew toys. Dogs tend to be more expensive for several reasons. For example, dogs tend to be larger than cats requiring more food. Consider knotting and shedding as another example requiring the additional cost of a groomer. Boarding is more expensive with large dogs, as are flea and tick treatment products. Some people may unrealistically think they can forego some of these expenses. However, it won’t be long before they realize that shelling out some cash now will save them more in the long run. For example, cats like to scratch furniture to sharpen their nails. If you don’t purchase a scratching post for them, you might soon find holes in your sofa. If getting a dog, you will probably need training pads because accidents will inevitably occur while potty training. Leash laws require that dogs be kept on leashes when going outdoors. Both dogs and cats will inevitably break something. Cats get up in places where you are sure to keep your most valuable possessions. Dogs like corners and think that everything is fair game when it comes to teething and marking their territory. This brings us to socialization and exercise. You will want to take your dog to dog parks so your dog can be exposed to different environments, animals, and people. Well socialized dogs will be friendlier, less fearful, and happier. The first few months of a dog’s life are crucial and will layout the foundation for appropriate behavior with long-lasting effects. This is a serious consideration as most people will have busy lifestyles and simply do not have much time to devote to their pet. Also, exercise will help keep your dog stimulated, healthy, and in shape. Choosing the right breed may require some deliberation. Different dogs have different temperaments so when purchasing a dog keep in mind that the dog has to fit into the family dynamics. Golden retrievers are known to do well with children and are considered friendly dogs. In contrast, Jack Russells are a high energy breed and will require plenty of room to play. You may even find that some animals do not get along well with other animals. Some cat breeds like the Maine Coone grow as big as a small dog and can weigh as much as 25 pounds. They are friendly but curious requiring attention to that of a dog’s. Do your research when picking your perfect pet and remember it’s a long term commitment.