We all have that one friend who keeps on buying pets when everyone else can see it’s a dumb idea.

Maybe they’re planning to move soon and have no idea if the new rental will even allow pets. Maybe they have too many pets for the space they’re in and keep giving the old ones away to make room for the new ones. Maybe they’re actually just really terrible pet owners, not due to a lack of love but due to a lack of training that then turns their house into a warzone no-one else wants to visit.

Are these very real examples? Yes. Are they all from the same friend? Maybe. Thing is, despite subtle nudges from the rest of us along the way, I know this mate has no idea they’re a terrible pet owner. So what if you’re *this* pet owner and didn’t even realise it?

I have THE checklist for you, so you can be certain of your pet suitability before you make the commitment.

1. Your Rental Situation Is Solid

Trying to find a rental when you own pets is about 10000* times harder. If you’re not VERY confident you’ll be staying in your current, pet-friendly abode for a very long time, then I’m sorry but you may just not be in a place for pets.

Unless, possibly, you have the money for a pet-friendly hotel or somewhere you can crash between rentals while you keep searching.

*Number may not be accurate

2. Your Budget Won’t Be Changing

Pets are also expensive, even if they’re cheap to buy. I recently was SO sure I was going to buy a bunny until my mate pointed out there were still vet bills. It somehow totally slipped my mind.

There’s the actual buying of your chosen pet, but then there are ongoing expenses like the aforementioned vet, food, toys, pet-sitters etc etc. You want to be sure your budget not only allows for it now, but will continue to allow for it for a long time down the track. This isn’t just about your job, this is even considering two income households possibly becoming one.

3. Your Routine Is On Point

Pets are creatures of habit. If you’ve never been organised enough to set up a basically regular routine in your life then you’re going to want to give that a red hot go (and succeed) before you decide to care for another living creature. If routines just aren’t for you, maybe just make regular visits to those pet cafes.

4. You’re Ready To Stop The Party Life

Your pets need you, especially social animals like puppers. If you’re out every night it’s a bit unfair to have a pet sitting at home all alone, don’t you think? Did you ever see that viral vid of the dog that was so distraught every time his owner left the house? This one:

HE’S SO SAD YOU GUYS!

5. You’re Not A Regular Traveller

I feel like this one is fairly obvious, but if you’re a person who likes to travel as much as possible, either for the weekend or longer trips, it’s just not really the time for you to get a pet. Even if you do have someone to pet sit or can afford a pet hotel, what’s the point of owning a pet if you’re not spending any time with them?

6. You’ve Considered The Constant Cleaning

I housesat for a friend with a cat for only three weeks and OMG the fur drove me bloody insane. No matter how regularly I swept, by the end of the day there was fur everywhere again.

Then there’s poops and voms and torn up stuff and god knows what else. Let me just tell you, a home gets a distinct and unpleasant pet smell pretty dang quickly if you’re not on your game.

7. You’re Prepared To Train Them

Part of loving a pet is training them. Just like kids, a pet without training is just bloody difficult to have around. Again like with kids, your friends won’t say anything about it, but they’ll start making your groups plans at a different location. I know it’s tempting to spoil them and let them get away with whatever, but you’re not doing either of you any favours.

7. You’ve Researched, A LOT

Do not, ever, impulse purchase a pet. It’s not just irresponsible of you, it’s unfair to the pet. Consider all these points and then do your research to find a species and breed that works for you.

If you’ve made it to the end and you’re still nodding your head, congratulations you’re probably ready for a pet! Please bring them around for regular cuddles. Thank you.

Image: Instagram / @lucyhale