Finding the right pet for your lifestyle can be easier said than done.
While you might have dreams of a farm full of shepherd dogs or a trio of cats in your apartment, your lifestyle and personality play a big part in the selection process.
Pet ownership is a big responsibility. Certain pets live for decades, so you must take into consideration how you plan to incorporate them into your life as you grow older together.
But once you find the right fit for you, that companionship is priceless. Plus, your bond provides many health benefits, according to studies, including reduced stress, fewer instances of depression and decreased blood pressure.
So, how can you find the right pet for you? We've broken down the pets you should consider based on your personality and current lifestyle. Of course, before adopting any pet, check with your apartment's pet policy.
If your alarm goes off every morning at 5 a.m. and you jump off the bed and onto the running trail, you need a pet that can match your athletic energy to accompany you on those runs. Look into active dog breeds like Golden Retrievers and English Pointers as a good match for you.
While these dogs can match you in stride, know that they need room to run daily besides the run that you take them on. If you lack a backyard, consider enrolling them in daycare to get the extra energy out. Just be realistic that you'll be able to provide them with the outdoor exercise they crave — away from your valuables.
You've been climbing the corporate ladder for a while, and that also involves more travel to meet clients. But during those short days you spend at home, you wish you had a pet to keep you company.
Since you're gone so much, focus on low-maintenance pets like a betta fish. Over time, as you get to know your schedule, you can expand to a small aquarium. Aquariums are mostly self-sufficient and easy to attend to if you need a friend to stop by and check on your little guys.
Your studio looks like a tornado went through it, but what can you do? You can't just stop inspiration when it hits. But you also want companionship — a dog or a cat needs a little more attention than you can provide, plus you need to pick up your supplies, so they don't get into them.
That's why hamsters and gerbils are the perfect pet for you. All they need is a dry and clean cage. As long as you set a reminder to clean it, you're good. They need water and food daily and will keep themselves entertained with the right exercise wheel and toys. They'll stay out of your supplies yet play with you when you have a break in your work.
If your kids have reached an age where chores are part of their daily routine and are ready for a pet, a cuddly, yet personable dog is an excellent fit for your family. The children need to understand the responsibility of owning and taking care of a pet.
Veterinarians often suggest adopting a puppy, so it gets used to the kids early on and adapts to the family dynamics. Look into Bulldogs, Collies, Poodles, Golden Retrievers and Labradors as great kid-friendly canine additions to your household. These dogs are also low energy enough that they won't need constant attention and need large backyards to burn energy.
If you're not sure if a dog is the right addition to your family, consider asking a family friend to let you pet-sit for the weekend. A temporary addition can help you see if your family is ready for a four-legged friend.
Everyone is always impressed with your organizational skills and how clean your living spaces are. You're a proud clean freak. But with your Type-A personality, a small dog that sheds everywhere isn't quite a good fit for your lifestyle — and that's OK.
Consider reptiles instead. Yes, it's a little out of the ordinary but reptiles like iguanas, snakes and lizards are low-maintenance pets that thrive in terrariums with the right humidity and heat. Build the right warm environment for them, and they'll live a beautiful life by your side. Just keep in mind that some species can live up to 20 years, so do your research before committing.
As a freelancer, you have a routine every morning to get started with your work schedule. You're nearly always home and in your home office, working on those client gigs. It would be best if you had a pet that's independent but also interrupts you every once in a while. A cat can remind you to stand up from your desk every once in a while and play together.
To find the right cat for you, consider visiting your local humane society and taking cats on a trial basis to make sure it's a good match. Many humane society organizations have a rental or foster program available for those unsure pet owners.
Choosing the right pet for you can be a long process that can almost start to feel like dating. There are so many factors — from personalities to time and money — to consider during that time.
However, once you find the right match for you, whether it's a lizard or a Boston Terrier, you'll have a best friend for life. Now, that's priceless.