*This is a collaborative post.
Pets bring so much to our lives- they provide comfort and companionship, they make us laugh, they can encourage us to be more active and even give our mental health a boost. However, they also come with a huge amount of responsibility and so it’s not as simple as running out and adopting one on a whim. Before you bring a furry, feathered or scaled new family member home, it’s important to sit and consider your lifestyle. Is your home suitable? Can you afford to take care of it? Do you really have the time to provide a pet with everything it needs? If you travel a lot, you might struggle to answer yes to the last question, but it’s not to say it’s always an instant no too. Here are some things to consider if you travel often but want to adopt a pet.
Get the right pet
First things first, getting the right pet for your lifestyle will help to avoid issues later on. If you’re not home often enough to realistically get a dog for example, you might still be able to get a cat since they’re a little more independent. Further, still, adopt a cat with the right kind of personality, go to a shelter and see if there are any there which have been shown that they prefer a lot of time alone (rather than a more cuddly and human-orientated personality). Other options are rabbits and other small furries, reptiles and other exotic pets which don’t require much human interaction to stay happy- some needing none at all. Of course, you’ll need to be around enough to clean their tank/ hutch/ living area but they won’t need the time or affection of say a dog or a cat. But taking care of something can still be rewarding and it can be fascinating to watch these kinds of pets.
Consider who will look after them when you’re away
If you travel a lot but have people in your life that are more than happy to take care of your pet while you’re away, then getting a dog or cat could still be possible. Perhaps your parents live just down the road, and love watching your furry child for you while you’re away! Maybe you have an animal loving friend who will always have them for you. If you travel a lot for business and go on solo trips, your partner might be home often enough for them to just be left with them. It all depends on your situation so have a think about how things will work, and if you plan on doing this make sure you have a proper conversation with the people in your life to ask rather than just assume. If you’re just away a lot during the day, you always have the option of hiring a dog walker to come in midday and take them out. Plus you could get deliveries from an online pet shop for their food, treats and any accessories so don’t need to take too much time out to sort these things.
Think of the care costs
If you don’t have friends or family to help you out, you always have the option to use kennels and catteries. If you know that you’re away every other weekend then perhaps getting a pet isn’t the best option as it’s not especially nice for them and the costs will really add up. However, if you just go away a few times a year then this is a fantastic option as you know your dog is safe and looked after while you’re away. You also have the chance at many of these kinds of companies to pay for additional grooming, training and playtime. However, this can be expensive so do some research and add up some costs and find out if it’s something you’re able to do. Even the costs of using a local dog walker a few times a week can mount up, so find out what you’re likely to be paying each month and go into pet ownership with your eyes wide open.
Travel with your pet
If most of your travelling is done within the country you live in, then travelling with a pet (especially a dog) can be fairly easy. As long as they get used to it from a young age to avoid stress, you can travel by car, on buses or trains with well-behaved dogs with no issues whatsoever. There are also plenty of pet-friendly hotels so they can stay with you- a great option!
Do you travel often and still have a pet? How do you make it work for you?