Falling in love with a pet is easy and a pet can be one of life’s greatest joys! Considering adoption shows you’re a responsible and caring person. However, getting a pet is a big decision. Dogs and cats are living beings that require time, money, and commitment.
Think it through before you get a pet, consider these questions:
Why do I want a pet?
Having a pet just because it’s “the thing to do” or because the kids have been pining for a puppy usually ends up a big mistake. Pets may be with you for ten to twenty years.
Do I have the time and money to afford a pet?
Animal companions cannot be ignored when you are tired or busy. They require food, water, exercise, care, and companionship every day of every year. Many animals in shelters are there because their owners did not realize how much time it took to properly care for them. The monetary costs of pet ownership can be quite high. Licenses, training, spaying and neutering, veterinary care, grooming, toys, kitty litter, food and other expenses add up quickly.
Is my lifestyle suitable for the pet I’d like?
Many apartments and rental homes do not allow pets and many others have restrictions. Make sure you know the rules first. An energetic dog in a small apartment may not be a good idea; giving him/her enough exercise will require quite a bit of activity on your part. Children should show manners and be responsible, and under the watchful eye of a parent. Choose an animal that will be comfortable in your surroundings and lifestyle. If you are a student, in the military, or travel frequently for work, it may be wise to wait.
Will I be a responsible pet owner?
Having your pet spayed or neutered, obeying community leash and licensing laws, and keeping identification tags, and of course providing love, companionship, exercise, a healthy diet, and regular veterinary care are essential to being a responsible pet owner.
Don’t forget vacations and weekends away. You will need reliable friends, family, neighbors, or money to pay for a boarding kennel or pet-sitter.
When you get a pet, you are making a commitment to care for the animal for his/her lifetime.
Am I prepared to deal with special problems that come with pets?
Fleas, shedding, scratched-up furniture, behavior problems, learning how to train before you can train successfully, accidents from animals that are not yet housebroken, and unexpected medical emergencies are a few common issues.