We love all of our horses, cows, sheep and pigs, but Baz the dog is the one who probably means the most to us. He’s a part of the family, and I couldn’t imagine life without him.

Because of our rural lifestyle, we’re fortunate enough to be able to give him as much space to run around and chase things (which he does a lot) as he needs, but which pet is right for you? There are a lot of questions you need to ask yourself before you decide, so here are just a few to get you started…

What is your lifestyle like?

petHow you live on a day-to-day basis should determine the kind of pet you go for. You might want a huge cuddly dog as your new four-legged friend, but if you don’t have the time to spend with them or the living arrangements to suit, then you might have to think again.

Are you an energetic person that goes for long walks every day? Do you spend a lot of time out of the house leaving your pet alone? How much of your monthly budget can you devote to them? All of these are crucial considerations.

Where should I go to buy my pet?

Once you’ve decided on the best animal to fit into your lifestyle, you need to start looking for the new addition to your family. There are a lot of different ways of going about this. On the one hand, you could go to a registered breeder who operates from home, or you may decide to go to one of the many shelters across the country and adopt an animal instead. However, you could go to a kennel, like Douglas Hall Kennels.

These establishments are registered with the local authorities, and offer litters from specially selected, fully-licensed breeders. These are often a great choice, as the animals are very well cared for, kept in hygienic and comfortable conditions, and have regular veterinary attention. Alternatively, you could head to a site like AmericanListed to view the ads there. Just make sure that the breeder you choose is reputable and adheres to strict welfare standards.

How big is your space?

Finally, how much space do you have to offer your new pet, and can it be adapted to suit their needs? From an exotic bird enclosure to a rabbit hutch, animals that are kept outside will need the maximum amount of space that you can give them.

a guide to pet parentingThose that are kept indoors, will still need a secure outdoor space in which to get some fresh air and exercise. Plus, they’ll need adaptations within the home to make the environment suit their needs better. If you’d like more advice on this, click here.

It’s always best to read up on the breed of animal you go for, so that you can provide exactly the conditions that will help them to thrive. Otherwise, your pet could become frustrated, aggressive or depressed.

I hope these pointers have helped you decide which animal is right for you. Let us know how you get on, and whether your new family member is settling in.

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