We have all casually strolled through a pet store looking for nothing in particular and eventually made our way over to the kittens behind the glass wall.
I am willing to bet we have also all taken a picture of our favorite adorable kitten and sent it to our parents, siblings, partners, or friends with a follow-up text saying, "Should I?" They may humor you and encourage you to adopt it or shut the idea down immediately.
I am here to tell you no. You probably should not get the cat or the dog or the fish or the hamster or any other pet you may find in the pet store.
If you and your partner or family or roommate have been planning on getting the pet and everyone wants it and you can afford it and love it and give it all the attention and care it needs, then by all means, get the pet. Otherwise, just don't.
Some may think this is obvious, and I shouldn't have to write an entire article about thinking before adopting/buying a pet. Let me just say, too many people this is not obvious. Some people think simply wanting a pet is the only means necessary to actually getting a pet.
They think if they can afford the initial cost of a pet that that means they are in a good place to get the pet. I will say it again. Just because you want a pet does NOT mean you should get a pet.
I encourage you to think through every pitfall you may face once getting a pet. Will you be able to afford constantly buying its food? Will you be able to afford the cost of taking it to the vet if it is sick? Will you always be around to watch it? Can you handle the emotional responsibility of taking care of a living thing? Will it have a better life with you than it would with anyone else?
Trust me, I want a cat and a dog and a bunny more than I have wanted anything. But I have student loans to pay and groceries to buy and classes to go to, and I truly just don't think I could give a pet all of the love and attention and security it deserves.
I am not saying that you should never get a pet, I am simply encouraging you to consider every possible predicament that could result from getting a pet. I am begging you not to put an animal in a subpar living environment just because you thought it was cute.