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Ah, love is in the air… and what better way to share it than by getting a “fur child” of your very own? For those of us who have just embarked upon the adventure of life with a long-term sweetheart, adding a pet to the family can seem like the perfect way to form an even closer bond with your mate. If you are like many Millennial couples, you may even already have a little one of your own and are considering adding a pet to make the family complete. In this article, we’ll tell you some important things to know about choosing the right pets for millennial families.
Every family is different, and the addition of a pet can be beneficial in a number of ways. Raising pets and children together is a long tradition and one which many Millennials look forward to continuing with their families. In addition, bringing up a pet together is a great way for couples to “try out” the process of splitting responsibilities, setting boundaries, and practicing techniques that may later come in very handy when parenting. Caring for animals can help you feel connected with your partner and like you’re on the same team. For those married or partnered couples who choose not to have children, pets can be an important way for couples to express their love and commitment to each other (and nothing says “I appreciate you” like taking an extra round of poop scooper duty).
First things first: consider what kind of family you’ll be making, and you’ll find out what kind of pet you’ll do best with. Think about whether you and your mate tend to be outgoing or shy, energetic or laid-back, outdoorsy or homebodies. You will want a pet that you both can enjoy being around and who has a personality that adds to, not detracts from, your connection with your partner. Be honest; you might be tempted to get a high-energy dog that can keep you both off the couch and out on a hike, but it’s better to look for a pet that fits the lifestyle you have rather than the one you wish you had.
Next, make sure you and your sweetie have comparable goals in getting a pet. Bear in mind that many dogs and cats can live up to 20 years or more with proper care, so bringing one into your family is a decision that will affect everyone in it for decades. If your family includes a child, remember to bring them into the decision-making process too!
The following are some of the best pets for millennial families based on their personalities, behavioral needs, general health, and more. These pets are a great way to start the search for the right pet for your new family.
Cats: Sure, these are the quintessential “newlywed pets,” but it’s with good reason. Many cats are typically independent and deal well with the changes in scenery and routine that come with the start of a committed relationship. On top of that, cats are simply fun to be around for many people, and their needs are relatively low. A large number of cat breeds do well with minimal grooming and require less human interaction than most dogs, so they’re a great option for couples with a busy lifestyle who still want the comfort and affection of a pet. (Remember that many doctors discourage the handling of cat litter during pregnancy, so consider this before getting a feline friend of your own.)
Golden and Labrador Retrievers: These have long been considered great family dogs, but they’re especially well suited for making great pets for Millennial families. Both breeds are friendly and personable, so they’re comfortable with meeting lots of their owners’ friends. They love a good romp in the dog park or walk around the block (which is a great activity to share with your sweetheart); in their down time they are affectionate and gentle, qualities which are loved by couples and children alike. They also tend to be obedient and easy to train, making them an excellent option for novice owners.
French Bulldogs: If the two of you are looking to devote your heart to a furry pal, these stubborn, sweet, and unique little dogs are a great fit. Many couples have fallen head-over-heels with Frenchies and take great pride in raising them together; these personable and affectionate dogs love people and adjust well to new situations such as a post-wedding move. Like many bulldogs, they can develop health conditions that require lots of time and money to resolve, so they require a family that can afford their care.
Beagles: Another good pet for newlyweds and more is the Beagle, a gentle and friendly small breed known for their tolerance and patience. Generally easygoing and amicable, these dogs are a perfect fit for apartments and condos with limited space. Because of the Beagle’s general good nature, many people find that the addition of a new human family member is no problem for this sweet breed.
Dachschunds: Another wonderful option for new families is the good old “wiener dog.” Compact and friendly, this small breed is usually easy-going and playful. Their intelligence and playfulness make them great companions, but their stubborn nature can pose a challenge; although they are a good pet for couples, training them requires a lot of cooperation and commitment (just like relationships and marriage!).
Mixed Breeds: The best breeds are sometimes no specific breed at all! Mutts, the favorite of dog lovers everywhere, combine the desirable traits of several different breeds into one unique, loveable package. These are some of the best pets for just-married couples and more because they not only leave room for compromise; if you choose to adopt from a shelter or a rescue, the application process itself can be a learning experience for you both. Indeed, nowhere else but with a mutt can you find such a stunning array of personalities and looks – one of which is sure to be a perfect fit.
New families are being made every day, and the love of a pet is a big part of that. The Millennial generation in particular is opening their hearts and homes to furry additions. While you’re searching for the best pet for partnered couples, newlyweds, or new parents, look for the best fit for not just now but for the years to come as well; do it right, and you’ll have many happy times ahead of you as a family.
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