Adopting a pet is serious business. You are bringing home a new member of the family, and you need to make sure – before you sign the paperwork – that you fully understand the gravity of your decision.
To make sure you are ready to adopt a pet and you’ve chosen the right pet for you and your family, here are a few questions you can ask yourself:
Is this the right time for a new pet?
In times of great upheaval, such as a divorce or after the loss of a loved one, it may either be the perfect time for a new pet – or the worst time possible. Pets take a lot of care and need to know that they are loved by their new owners. If you are busy working 70 hours a week at your new job or are too ill, despondent, or otherwise engaged and can’t take care of your new pet properly, who will?
Does everyone in your home want a new pet?
Whether you live with roommates or a spouse and children, everyone in your home should be as excited about a new pet purchase as you are. They, too, will be able to enjoy your new pet but may also have to deal with the responsibility and downsides that come along with it. Make sure everyone is on the same page before you bring home something fuzzy and cute.
Is your home a suitable environment for the addition to the family?
If you live in a small apartment in the middle of downtown in a metropolitan city, you may want to rethink your choice to adopt a Great Dane. Big animals need big spaces to run and even if you are committed to taking your new big dog to the park everyday, chances are he won’t be too happy living in a cramped apartment for the other 23 hours.
In the same way, a large lop bunny may be none too pleased to share a house where a hostile kitty is already in residence. Make sure that your home and your pet are a good match.
Have you researched the temperament and needs of the pet that you want to adopt?
Even though Golden Retrievers are beautiful dogs, they typically aren’t the most friendly breed for children. Researching the breed that you are interested in as well as the character traits of any animal you choose will help you decide if it’s right for you. For example, a self sufficient adult cat may be a better choice for the workaholic who would like a little company when he gets home than a new puppy.
Do you have the resources to care for your new pet?
Pets cost much more than their purchase price. Not only will you need a small start-up fund to cover the essentials like cages, food bowls, leashes, water bottles, food, litter, etc. as required for your chosen pet, you will need money for other things as well. Vaccinations, spay or neuter surgeries, microchips to help you locate the lost pet, vet visits – all of these are de rigueur.
Then there are surprise costs like pet hospital visits for emergencies, surgeries for unexpected illnesses, medications for allergies – these are expensive. If you travel, do you have the money for a kennel, pet sitter, or pet hotel? Do you have someone to care for your new pet if you get sick or have an emergency?
There are plenty of things to consider when you decide whether or not you are ready to adopt a pet. Make sure you’re ready!