How to Test-Drive a Friend's Pet

Getting a new pet is no small decision. After all, once you buy, you’ll be stuck living with the pooch or kitty for years to come. So it’s important to find out if the pet is right for you and your lifestyle. A great way to find out whether or not you’re ready to take the pet plunge? Pet-sitting a friend’s cat or dog, of course.

Photo: Shutterstock

Have a Sleepover
Yes, a sleepover. You’ll want to get a real picture of what it’s like to take care of the animal full-time. Keep it for a good 24 hours, so you’ll get to experience all the major responsibilities involved in pet ownership first-hand: the walks (if we’re talking a dog here), the feedings, grooming and playing with chew toys (if this is deemed necessary).

Weigh the Pros and Cons
Will cleaning up pet hair bother you? Does the lingering odor of that kitty litter box drive you insane? Do you have time for all those dog walks? How will you care for the pet while you’re at work? What will you do with the fur ball while you’re on vacation? Once you’ve considered all the responsibilities and potential drawbacks of owning a pet, if you still want one and know you can handle it based on your simulated experience, then hey, go for it! But if not, well…there are always goldfish, right?

See More: Pet Q&A , Pets