Home isn’t “home” without your furry family members! “The Shea Difference,” it isn’t just for humans. We want everyone – and every pet – to feel comfy and at home. Whether you’re already a pet owner or plan to be one soon, we’ll help you find your ideal pet and make sure everyone feels purr-fectly at home.
What Pet is Right for Me?
For those of you who already have pets, you know that they can be a wonderful addition to your life. Pets can even become our family. If you’re just beginning your journey of finding the right pet, it’s important to think about how a pet will fit into your lifestyle – and this includes not only your habits and schedules, but the kind of home you live in and the needs of your pet.
What to Consider
There are many things to consider when determining what pet type is right for you. Here are some to think about:
- What kind of animal fits in your home? Consider where you pet will sleep, and if they will have enough space to move freely about your house. You may also want to consider the size of your outdoor areas.
- What maintenance level of a pet are you comfortable with?
- What types of animals are allowed in your home? If you have an apartment or are a part of an HOA, you should check for regulations before committing to a pet.
- Do you have kids? Consider their ages, activity level and the disposition of pet you’re thinking about getting. Do you have a fenced yard or an outdoor enclosure for a pet who needs outdoor time?
- What other features will you need in your home to keep both you and your pet safe, healthy, and happy?
- Is your home pet friendly? If not, what would it take to make it pet friendly?
- Are you prepared to take on the full financial responsibility of pet ownership?
- How will you care for your pet when you travel?
- Can you, and your home’s size, accommodate your pet’s activity level?
If you’re ready to dig into which type of pet is right for you and your family, here are some guidelines to help you get started researching and choose between different types of pets:
Man’s best friend! Need we say more? Dogs are one of the most popular pets for people to own. They’re furry, they’re snuggly, they’re smart, and they can be both a cuddle buddy and adventure companion. However, dogs typically require a substantial time investment and dedication to daily care and attention. Dogs are social creatures and prefer to have time with other dogs and quality time with you. You’ll want to make sure you can dedicate time to your pup daily. If you get a puppy, you’ll have to provide continuous attention (to hopefully avoid them “teething” on all of your home’s furniture) and work with them to house-train them. You’ll want to consider whether your dog will be comfortable in the size of your home and if you have the appropriate outdoor areas to accommodate them. Also, be sure to consider the costliness of vet check-ups and immunizations.
These furry felines can be great pets, especially if you’re looking for a pet that be a little more self-contained and independent than a dog. Cats may be a little bit more comfortable going solo, but they still require regular care and attention. You need to have time daily to interact with them and give them love, and keep a watchful eye they don’t jump up on shelves where any breakables are. Like most cuddly-companions, you’ll also need to take them to the vet regularly and make sure they get all their immunizations. Cats typically are better suited than dogs for smaller homes as they don’t usually require as much vigorous exercise. When planning your home’s needs around your new kitty, an area for a litter box and vigilance against them sharpening their claws on your new couch is a must (consider a scratching post a wise investment).
Birds are a lovely pet to have at home and can be really rewarding to have. They’re smart animals that can be social and interactive. Different types of birds require different amounts of daily attention and some can become quite upset with too much quiet and not enough interaction. You will need to allocate time each day to spend time with them and consider how to keep them “company” with sounds when you’re not home. It’s ideal to give a bird ample space to spread their wings so they’re not too constricted. You’ll also need to make sure you keep a bird’s cage clean.
Rabbits can be cuddly pets. They need regular attention and care. If you choose to own a rabbit, you’ll need to pay careful attention to their diet to ensure they get the right nutrients. They have a somewhat sensitive digestive system. Rabbits also require regular vet checkups so make sure you’re prepared for the spectrum of responsibilities that come with owning one.
A fish can be a great starter pet. They’re contained to a bowl or tank, so they’re not only relatively compact, and won’t run away. Fish can come in many types, so you’ll want to understand the different types of fish and what will work best for you. Once you find a nice place for the aquarium to sit, remember that cleaning the tank can often be a little more work then you may think at first glance. Be sure someone in your household understands the need and is ready for the job.
You might not think of reptiles as the cuddly family pet, but these animals can be amazing pets for the right people. An extra bonus is that reptiles are non-allergenic. It’s important to note though that the American Academy of Pediatricscautions against reptiles as pets for children because of the chance to transmit salmonella.
Hamsters, guinea pigs, and gerbils require a reasonable amount of effort to own and can work well in small spaces. Hamsters need to be solo animals, but you can get same-sex pairs of other rodents. Be sure to be careful when letting these guys roam alone so they don’t escape into any nooks and crannies in your home. A small plastic exercise ball is the perfect way to let your pet explore your home and keep an eye on them (be sure to block off any stairs or keep them on the ground floor!).
Still need some assistance finding the perfect pet for you? Have each person in your family go through this flowchart and see which animal fits best with your lifestyle.
Special Pet-Friendly Home Features To Consider
Once you narrow down the pet that is right for you, or if your furry family member is already a part of your home, you’ll want to learn about the special home features that can make your home extra pet-friendly!
If your pet will want to be able to let themselves outside without having to call for you every time, you may want to give them a pet door. This will make it easier on both of you, and give them some independence.
Enclosed Outdoor Spaces
If you’re looking to provide an ideal outdoor space for your dog, you may want to explore the option of having an outdoor dog run. Dog runs are helpful for people who have pets who need to be contained to an area, while still allowing them to have a little bit of freedom and space to exercise. Runs can be customized in size and fencing depending on your needs and preferences, and can also include a shaded cover to keep Fido out of the hot sun.
Built-In Litter Cabinets
Whether you have a trained bunny or a cat, a litter cabinet may a great additional option for your home to keep you and your pets happy. You can create an opening in an existing laundry room cabinet or other area where you will have the ability to give your pet access to a litter box that stays out of sight and (and smell!).
Dog Wash Stations
If you’re going to be keeping your doggie clean by bathing him or her yourself, you may find a dog wash station helpful. A dog wash station can be built with a low entrance, so you don’t have to lift your dog into the tub. This is helpful if you have a big dog that’s heavy and also for special needs dogs. These washing areas can also double as a place for rinsing off dirty kids, dirty gardening shoes, and other messy projects!
Walkable Neighborhoods & Dog Parks
While all Shea neighborhoods are built to be welcoming and walkable – perfect for pups and other pets who can walk leashed, some master-planned communities and active-adult communities also offer dog parks where your furry friend can run and interact with other pups. Dog parks, like the one at Trilogy at Wickenburg Ranch, have amenities for pets and pet parents alike, including a 2.5 acre dog park and cabana picnic areas. Take a look at the community you’re interested in to see what additional shared amenities are available.
Shea Loves Pets, Too!
Take a look at how Shea Pet Fest invited Shea Home owners to celebrate their family pets in their own communities.
Tell us below – what pet fits best with your family and what home addition would you like best?