Should You Get a Quarantine Pet?

Getting a pet during quarantine is a major decision. Throughout these unimaginable times, I’ve been working from home. As you’re probably already thinking, it’s been Zoom galore. However, once I log off, it’s just me in my apartment. I’ve watched all the Netflix and Youtube, played numerous Switch games, and exercised more than ever. With all this new time, my mind went back to a dream I put on hold – getting a dog.

Before the start of the pandemic, I dreamed of adding a furry friend into my life. However, work-life balance always posed a challenge. How would I find time to adjust to work and train a new puppy?

Quarantining and working from home totally altered my schedule. Time and balance obstacles no longer stop me from the puppy of my dreams. I spent two weeks researching reputable breeders, costs, and training needs. Within four weeks, I became the owner of a little Yorkie puppy named Jett. After 3.5 months, it’s been fun, but not lacking its challenges.

Quarantine or not, adding a pet to your life should be met with lots of thought and consideration.

Here’s what you should consider before getting a quarantine pet:

  • Time: No matter the situation, owning a pet requires time and dedication. Even a freshwater fish takes at least 5 – 20 minutes for feeding and tank cleaning. Just like a human, an animal needs a routine and attention for the duration of their life. If time cannot be carved out in your schedule, owning a pet is not for you. Although you may have found new free time while working from home, consider the changes once we return to a more normal state. Do you travel frequently and can your pet come? Will you still be able to provide your pet the time they deserve? Plan for the present and future.
  • Money: A pet is not cheap. I repeat – A PET IS NOT CHEAP. Like any major purchase, be sure to add in initial and monthly pet fees into your budget. Initial fees include the actual pet, crate, or other homing supplies, vet exam and shots, etc. Maintenance may involve food, grooming, and other recurring needs. Don’t forget the unexpected necessities that may pop up or the cutesy toys and outfits at the pet store! Mint provides the perfect breakdown of what to consider financially when getting a pet. Don’t go broke by adding a pet to your life too soon.

Are you ready for a forever friend?

  • Longevity: Are you ready for years worth of care? A Betta fish has a life expectancy of 2 years while a cat or dog may live up to 20 years! If your indecisive or not willing to commit to long-term care, you may not be ready for a pet. Whether you’re looking for a reptile or furry friend, research the needed care and imagine their needs over your lifetime. Is this something you want for now or the long run?
  • Post-Quarantine: “This is the new normal”. I’m sure you’ve heard this phrase fifty million times already. Although our daily routines pre-2020 may never return, it doesn’t mean our current routine is permanent. Plan how you’ll allocate time to your pet in your current schedule as well as when you do return to some sense of normalcy. Remember, your pet knows nothing of your pre-pandemic life. They also won’t magically disappear or instantly adapt to change. Make your future pet a priority, even amongst change.
  • Patience: A new pet has to learn and learning takes time. The first few months home with my Yorkie was full of teething, potty incidents, daily training, and lots of barking. I’ve been frustrated and annoyed, but mistakes are opportunities for improvement. I identify the issues, find a solution, then get to training. We may not always speak the same language of our pet, however, we can bond and teach obedience. If you cannot handle accidents, cleaning, and lots of training, it may not be the time for a pet.

Have you gotten a pet while quarantining? Are you thinking of adding a pet to your life?

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