Do you feel like it’s time to add to your family? Maybe you think a furry friend would make your household complete. There really is a pet for every family. Before you embark on your perfect pet hunt it’s important to remember your lifestyle and experience. Maybe your baby is terrified of dogs, or you’ve never held a rabbit before. Here are some suggestions to keep in mind as you search for your companion.

Who will be responsible for the pet? If your kids are young chances are you’ll be the one raising your pet. Think about how much time you have and what you can commit to. It’s also good to keep in mind if your family travels a lot. Maybe you need to have a low-key pet. A tropical fish aquarium can be beautiful and fascinating for little ones.

How does your child respond to animals? Young kids sometimes have a hard time understanding they need to be gentle with animals. Before you bring anything home spend some time at friend’s houses or a petting zoo so your kids can learn proper pet etiquette. Hamsters and gerbils might seem perfect toddler size but they are very delicate and sensitive. You’ll have to closely monitor how your child handles the pet. Guinea pigs and rabbits might be a better option. They’re bigger and can interact with kids. Keep in mind though some pets are prone to nipping.

Do you want a pet that needs to be walked or can walk themselves? If your family is ready for more responsibility but still can’t commit to training a cat is a good choice. Cats are very independent and can stay indoors. If you think you can devote the time dogs make lifelong companions. It’s crucial to remember though that if your baby hasn’t grown up with a dog or cat it can be a lot of work. You’re number one priority is keeping your baby safe so if they tend to pull tails or get to close you might want to wait till they’re older before introducing a larger animal to the house. Another great option is adopting an older dog or cat. They tend to already be trained and because they’re older they’re more docile. You can even look for ones that have lived with families before. You’ll be providing a loving home for an animal that needs it and they’ll be a great introduction to the world of pets!