| Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Choose right pet for your family

Take our pet ownership quiz and find out

familypet
© ITP Images

1. What kind of home do you live in?
a) We own our villa and have a garden.
b) We rent a large villa with a garden.
c) We own our apartment and the building management allows pets.
d) We rent our apartment and pets are a grey area.

2. How old are the children in your household?
a) 10 and under.
b) Seven and under.
c) Five and under.
d) Toddlers and babies.

3. Who is at home during the day?
a) Usually mum and the home help.
b) Mum and dad work, but the home help
is always around.
c) The house is empty in the mornings, but someone is always back by 3pm.
d) Nobody. We’re evening and weekend people only.

4. How much daily time are you willing to devote to a pet?
a) As much time as it takes. We adore animals.
b) A couple of hours a day – certainly enough to go on two sets of walkies.
c) An hour. The mornings are crazy and the evenings aren’t much better.
d) Not much during the week. We have plenty of time at weekends though.

5. Pets can be expensive. How much are you willing to pay per month for food and vet care etc?
a) Money’s not an issue. However much it costs.
b) I envisage spending a maximum of Dhs600 per month (including vet bills).
c) Dhs150 – no more. I don’t want an animal that’s going to cost a fortune, that’s for sure.
d) Gosh. I hadn’t thought about that. You mean they can go wrong?

6. How long do want to be caring for this pet?
a) Forever hopefully – and failing that – at least 10 years. We’re looking for a long term companion.
b) 10 years would be pushing it, as I’m not sure how long we’re going to be here.
c) We’re on a two-year contract. Does 18 months sound feasible?
d) About as long as the novelty of having a pet will last for my kids. Can you buy mayflies here?

7. Pets can be messy. Are you prepared for that?
a) Sure. We’re happy to vacuum the house everyday.
b) Of course. Our maid will be dealing with it anyway.
c) I don’t mind cleaning out a cage once a week, but I don’t want mess all over the house.
d) Yuck! I’m allergic to fur and wood shavings. Any suggestions?

8. Holidays can be tough on pets. What will do when you travel?
a) Money’s no object – so our furry friend will be doing the luxury pet hotel in Abu Dhabi.
b) If our maid isn’t travelling, she will care for it. Or, we’ll employ a pet sitting service.
c) I’ve got a friend who says she can pop in and feed our pet twice a day.
d) Darn it! I hadn’t thought of that either.

Mostly As
Congratulations! You are perfect pet owner material. You have plenty of space at home, a realistic idea of how much work will be involved, and your children are old enough to take on the responsibility, too. A dog would probably be the best option as you are looking for a companion who will be around for a good few years. Contact www.k9friends.com for more information.

Mostly Bs
You’re on your way to becoming pet owners, but there are some issues. Number one is the fact that your maid will be taking on most of the work when it comes to your pet. Have you asked her opinion on the matter? Secondly, you’re not sure how long you’re going to be here for, so you don’t want an animal with a hugely long lifespan. We reckon your best option could be to go for an older cat that requires re-homing as they don’t require too much attention during the day and are fine with pet-sitting services, should you travel. Contact www.felinefriendsdubai.com for more information.

Mostly Cs
You fall into the small, low maintenance pet category as you work long hours and live in an apartment. Your children are also too young to be responsible for animal care, so it will fall on your shoulders. In your current situation, a hamster would probably be the best bet. They don’t live very long (two years on average), are very cheap to feed, and are nocturnal, so won’t need any attention during the day at all. Failing that, consider getting an aquarium.

Mostly Ds
Your lives simply aren’t geared up to welcome a four-legged – or even four-finned – friend into your home. You even admit you’re only considering getting a pet because your very young children might find it amusing for – oh, a nanosecond. We suggest you contact your local animal shelter and do a spot of volunteering during the weekend to get your dose of fur and fun. Alternatively, if you must have something, invest in a tamagotchi – or send away for a packet of sea monkeys!

By Time Out Dubai staff
Time Out Dubai,

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