So you want a pet. But have you considered all the life changes that come with it? The hair? The all-around mess? The guilt that comes after denying them a bit of your lunch?
Taiwanese dog and cat owner who goes online by the name of John wants everyone to consider whether bringing an animal into their home won't be too much to handle, so they shared a series of illustrations, depicting life before and after pets. After all, taking care of another living being is quite the responsibility.
However, if you're up for it, it can be one of the most rewarding experiences in your life. "All I can think of after work is to go home knowing [my pets are] waiting for me, feels great and sweet," John wrote.
More info: Facebook
The artist said his own experience was the main source of inspiration for the series. "I got used to and kinda like all the life changes that happened to me after I got my pets, and I think other animal people will agree with me on this," John told Bored Panda. "The only 'change' that's hard when it comes to pets is saying goodbye when it's time for them pets to go."
"Unfortunately, the Golden Retriever you see in the pictures has passed away. Now, I have a Taiwanese dog and six cats." John has adopted all of his pets; before joining the artist in his home, they were all homeless.
Getting a pet is very exciting but -- as UK's veterinary charity The People's Dispensary for Sick Animals points out -- providing everything for a new animal can be overwhelming. To choose the right pet and understand its needs, the organization suggests to think P-E-T-S: place, exercise, time, and spend (with bonus points for additional knowledge.)
Start by considering how much space do you have where the animal could freely run and play. For example, dogs, in particular, need regular access to safe spaces but many cats also enjoy being able to exercise. Even guinea pigs need to go for runs!
Next, think about how active your life is. Can you go on regular walks, actively engage an animal, that sort of thing?
Pets are generally sociable and some especially love their owner's company, so it's also really important that they aren't left alone for long periods of time as they can become lonely, anxious, and distressed. Estimate how much time you could spend with your pet.
Moreover, it's not just the initial cost of getting a pet which you need to consider. Food, equipment, toys, medical treatments, replacing a chewed-up bed – it all adds up significantly over the lifetime of your pet, especially when they age and develop health problems. How much money could you spend on your new companion?
After you sit down and really think about P-E-T-S, you should have an idea of what animal suits you best. Knowing what to expect, all the life changes shouldn't be too difficult!