#LIFEHACKS
Want A New Pet? Read This First

Important points to consider before you find yourself a new fur-child or feathered friend.

By Mandy Lim Beitler      18 March 2021

With work from home arrangements and scuttled vacation plans, it seems like the perfect time to have that pet you’ve always wanted but never had time for. You aren’t alone. Many Singaporeans have redirected their unused travel funds to shopping for a new puppy or kitten since the Covid-19 pandemic set in. But are you truly ready for a pet? Consider these key points first.

Lifetime Commitment

You’ve probably heard that “A pet is a lifetime of commitment”. But what does this really mean?

Well, dogs can live from eight to 16 years on average (smaller breeds tend to live longer than bigger ones), while cats can live up to 20 years or even longer. The lifespan of rabbits is around 10 years, while two to three years is normal for hamsters. Small birds like parakeets may average about six years, but some large parrots have even been known to outlive their original owner!

Keeping in mind that just like humans, pets are likely to face more health issues as they get older – are you prepared to commit to caring for your pet for its entire life, however long it lives?

Family Friendly

It may be your pet, but unless you live alone, it also becomes part of your family. So take that into consideration before getting a pet. Is everyone on board with the idea of having a new family member? Does your little nephew have allergies or is grandpa a fall risk? Such considerations are particularly important if there are babies, young children, and elderly in the household.

Also, remember that your new pet will grow, so ensure your home has adequate space for various reasons. For instance, the Jack Russell Terrier is small but requires space to romp, while the Great Dane can be a giant couch potato. Many people have bought 4-cm terrapins and 8-cm baby alligator gars because they’re cute and fit in a little tank. But long before they reach their maximum length of 30 cm and 2.5 m respectively, many end up being illegally released into the wild.

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