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Finding the best pet for your family

Too often, people overlook the most important factor when deciding on a pet -- the long-term cost of caring for their new family member. When the right animal is paired with the right person, their coexistence can be easy. But if your lifestyle is already a busy one, a pet may become a burden.

Take time to learn all you need to know about the animal of your choice before taking one home. Think of all that will be required of you. Will you feel the same about your pet after three or ten years? Can you afford veterinarian visits and food for your animal for that length of time and can you keep your pet safe and healthy?

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If you already devote your time to a family and a job, can you afford one more obligation? Consider the alternatives to pet ownership such as sponsorship and volunteerism. That approach can be every bit as satisfying as owning a pet.

If you are convinced that you will be physically and financially able to care for an animal full time, then use our collection of facts and experts' opinions to make picking the right pet easier.

Cats, Dogs, Rabbits, Hamsters, Birds, Iguanas, Snakes, Fish

Illustrations by Brandy Kesl.


-- Posted: Dec. 5, 2004
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