What to know before getting a new pet

Now more than ever, people have been adding to their families by getting a new pet. While they can be a welcome distraction and a lot of fun, they are also a huge commitment. Before you bring in a furry or feathered friend, here's what to know before getting a new pet.

Realize the commitment. Did you know a little budgie bird can live as long as 10 years? Or a hamster 3+? Depending on the type of animal you choose, you will likely have him/her for several years. Make sure you're very familiar with the animal, its life expectancy, and its needs in terms of habitat, food and exercise.

Make sure everyone in the family is involved. Getting a family pet means that everyone in the household should have a say in the type of animal you pick out, and who will take on the various responsibilities associated with caring for that said pet. 

Prepare your home. Puppies, and even kittens, can get into a lot of mischief. It's important for the safety of the animal (as well as your sanity) that your home is prepared for an animal (small things are put out of reach, etc.).

Don't be impulsive. One of the biggest mistakes people make is getting animal without thinking it all through first. It can be hard to resist a tiny little furry face. However, many things should be closely considered before adding to your family.