Adopting A Pet Triggers
You open the newspaper and see a beautiful Persian cat that needs a new home – and you think adopting a pet would be a good idea. Or you might be at the local fair or farmer’s market and there are adorable puppies waiting to find a new home. Before you know it, you find yourself at the local pet store or grocery store looking for food and water bowls, a bed, chew toys and pet food.
Falling in love with your new pet and sharing your home can be one of life’s greatest joys. They give you unconditional love, provide faithful companionship, help relieve stress for you after a long, hard day at work, and are extremely loyal and accepting. However, adopting a pet is a big decision. Pets require time, money and commitment though the experience is very rewarding.
Adopting or rescuing an animal from your local shelter or animal rescue organization means you care about giving animals a home. Take a moment and consider the following questions before adopting a pet:
Do you have the time it takes to care for a pet? Pets cannot be ignored because you have work to do, are too busy or tired. They need food, water, companionship and exercise every single day. If walking a dog is out of the question, then you might want to consider a cat instead.
What is the main reason for you wanting a pet? Pets will be with you at least 10 – 20 years and you should not adopt because you think it is the thing to do or simply because your children want a puppy. Make sure you think about your reasons for getting a pet.
Do The Math
Does owning a pet fit within your budget? By the time you pay for food, water, treats, training classes, grooming and veterinary care, the costs can add up quickly. ASPCA offers a Pet Ownership Chart to figure out what you can expect for expenses per year.
Training is an Absolute Must
Are you willing to solve any behavior problems? Many times, a pet will be returned to a shelter or adoption organization simply because the owner was not willing to help solve behavior problems. Training your companion may take some time and effort but it can be done and the results will be a stronger connection for you and your pet and better understanding.
Are you prepared for the unexpected? Accidents can happen from a pet not being house-trained to developing a skin allergy or getting fleas. While these situations are unfortunate, they are a part of pet ownership. Doing all you can to prevent these situations from arising is the first step in being prepared for the unexpected.
No Pets Allowed
Are pets allowed where you live? If you are living in a rental home or community, there may be restrictions or policies that need to be followed. In some cases, monthly or yearly fees are charged if you have a pet. Make sure you know what the policies and fees are before adopting a pet.
Do you travel a lot for work? Pet ownership requires time, effort and money but mostly it requires you to be at home on a consistent basis. If you have travel a lot for your job, it might be better to wait until you settle down in one place for awhile first before adopting a pet.
Do Your Homework
What size animal will work for your living situation? Big dogs often sleep throughout the day and are often quite laid back – but not always. Smaller dogs may bark at every noise and need plenty of room to run around. Whatever the case may be, ensure that the animal you choose will fit into your living situation and lifestyle.
Obeying the leash laws in your neighborhood, taking the time and care to get your pet spayed or neutered, and regular veterinarian visits are a must. When you adopt a pet, it is for a lifetime and it is important to understand what is involved. Share your life with a pet only if you can commit to the time, money and responsibility it requires. It is totally worth it.