Should you get a pet for Easter? Long answer short: No. Getting a pet is a big responsibility because of its unique care, the cost, and many other factors that new pet parents don’t always consider.
We've put together some information on the benefits of pet ownership and what you should consider before adopting any sort of small animal.
Easter is fun because it falls during peak spring time. The season comes to life as new baby animals are born, like chicks, bunnies, and other cute pets. The family usually gets together for the day with fun activities like a brunch, an egg hunt, or meeting the Easter bunny. While real bunnies are probably one of the cutest things in the world, they are not for everyone. A spontaneous decision to include a new, fluffy friend in an Easter basket, or as an Easter surprise might seem harmless, but there are serious things to consider before making the decision to become a pet parent.
Here are the top things to think through before deciding if you should get a small animal ever, not just around a holiday.
Who Will Be the Main CaregiverConsider if your family is ready for a pet by thinking about who is going to have the time, patience, and knowledge to care for a pet. This person will need to be responsible for daily pet care activities like feeding, providing water, cleaning the habitat, providing enriching out-of-habitat time, among other things. This caregiver will also need to keep track of the vet visit schedule, grooming appointments. Because of these extensive responsibilities, depending on the type of pet, kids who are young enough to be searching for their Easter basket will likely need help from their parents to take on the responsibilities of the proper care for their new pet.
If you think you are, or someone in your family is, ready for this kind of responsibility, the next step is determining what kind of pet fits best with your lifestyle.
What Type of Pet is the Best Fit
First, decide if your family is ready for a small animal.
Small animals like bunnies, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, ferrets, rats, and mice are all fun, unique pets. There are many factors that should be considered for each species, such as life span, space needed, attention needed, activity levels, and environment required.
Hamsters, gerbils, and mice make great pets for kids. They are often kept in small sized cages and take up relatively little space. Being nocturnal in nature, they tend to sleep throughout the day and become more active at night. If handled properly, they can be very gentle and tame when held.
While rats require a larger living area than hamsters, gerbils, and mice, they are very affectionate pets. Chinchillas, on the other hand, require slightly gentler care and require much cooler temperatures.
Small animal pets such as rabbits and ferrets are social creatures with a lot of energy, running around, playing, and needing space to romp. They also need more human interaction. Guinea pigs are very low energy animals and like to be kept in pairs.
The lifespan of your pet should also be considered. Some small animals live for only a few years, such as hamsters, gerbils, mice, and rats. With proper care, chinchillas can live 10-15 years. Rabbits and ferrets live about six to eight years.
For more information, use our guide for choosing the right small animal to help you decide what pet fits with your family.
Prepare Everything Your Pet Needs Before You Get the Pet
Stock up on supplies for your pet so when they arrive home, you have a safe, clean habitat that they can call home ready and waiting. Especially if you’re a new pet parent, you’ll need everything from the habitat and litter, to water bottle or dish, and species-specific food and treats. To make it easy for new pet parents, we have pet checklists that name each product needed when bringing home your new pet. Find a store near you that carries the pet products you’ll need. Get familiar with the store as you’ll likely become a regular as you’ll soon be spoiling your small animal. Spend some time reading through other resources like the general care guides of your pet to help prepare your home and better understand the care they will need.
Enjoy the holidays with your friends and family, and remember to really consider all the factors surrounding a new pet before making an impromptu decision to introduce a new member of the family.
If you have done your research and decided on making the commitment to becoming a pet parent, follow us on social media and visit our blog for care tips, helpful pet parent advice, and new products your pets will love.