Before adopting a pet, ask yourself these 8 questions!
- Do I have time for a pet? The most common reason people re-home or abandon their pets is because they did not anticipate the time that caring for a pet would take. Dogs, cats, and other animal companions cannot be ignored just because you are tired or busy. They require food, water, exercise, care, and attention every day of the year.
- Can I afford a pet? The adoption fee is not the only financial investment involved in getting a pet. Food, veterinary costs, spaying & neutering, kitty litter, licenses, toys, and other necessities add up quickly. Are you prepared to provide for your new companion? Animals cannot go without these things!
- Am I prepared for unexpected problems? Fleas, medical issues, bathroom accidents, and chewed-up furniture are unfortunate but can sometimes occur when owning a pet. Time and training can resolve a lot of unpleasant issues, but you must be prepared to continue to care for your pet even when problems like this arise.
- Can I have a pet where I live? Many apartments or rented homes may not allow for pets on their premises or have specific rules regarding animals. In addition to paying fines for breaking the rules, are you willing to vacate your home and relocate to a pet-friendly building? Don’t forget that even places that allow pets will require you to clean up after your animal!
- Is now a good time for me to adopt? Families with very young children may find it challenging to juggle both responsibilities. Just as you must protect your children from potential pet misbehavior, you also must protect your pet from children who do not know the proper way to treat an animal. Other reasons now might not be a good time to adopt are if you are planning to move soon, are pregnant or may soon become pregnant, or have a job that keep you traveling or away from home for long periods of time.
- Will I be a responsible pet owner? **Are you willing to spay or neuter your pet? Being a responsible pet owner also means obeying leash laws, picking up after your dog when he poohs in public, and obtaining proper licensing and ID tags. If your pet escapes and harms another person or animal, you will be held responsible, so take proper precautions. A responsible pet owner also makes sure to provide a healthy diet and plenty of exercise and attention. **Ask for more info on spaying and neutering cats and dogs!
- Am I willing to train my pet? Lack of training is one of the most common reasons people return pets. Basic training and research can help you and your pet better understand each other. You must be willing to devote time to researching and teaching your pet good habits and behaviors. If you do not teach these things, you cannot expect your pet to know what is right from wrong.
- Am I ready to make a long term commitment? When adopting, you are making a commitment to care for an animal for the rest of his life—that could mean 10 to 15 years for dogs and up to 20 years for cats. As you go through lifestyle changes such as moves, the birth of children and new jobs, your animal will remain a permanent part of your life. If circumstances change, will you still be able to care for your pet?
Remember: PETS ARE 4 LIFE!