BEFORE YOU ADOPT
THINGS TO CONSIDER
If you are like most of us, falling in love with animals is easy.
Pets give us unconditional love, loyalty, and provide constant companionship. Adopting a pet, however, is an important life-changing decision.
Dogs and cats are living beings that require lots of time, money and commitment - over 15 years in many cases. Pet ownership can be very rewarding, but only if you think through your decision before you adopt.
We're here to make that decision a little easier...
WHY DO I WANT A PET?
WILL I MAKE TIME FOR A PET?
Adopting a pet because the kids have been asking for a puppy or a kitten usually ends up being a big mistake. If you have children under six years old, for example, you might consider waiting a few years before you adopt a companion animal. Problem free, responsible pet ownership requires children who are mature enough to properly handle and help care for your new pet. Are you prepared to handle accidents in the house, soiled or torn furniture and unexpected medical emergencies? These are common aspects of pet ownership.
Dogs, cats and other companion animals cannot be ignored just because you or the children are too tired or too busy. They require food, water, exercise, enrichment, care and companionship every day of every year. Thousands of animals end up in shelters or are humanely euthanized because their owners did not realize how much time it took to properly care for their pet.
CAN I AFFORD A PET?
The adoption fee is just the beginning of a lifetime of expenses. The list below is just a few of the items that your pet might need each month, bi-annually or annually:
Vaccines, Heartworm test, Heartworm prevention pills, Leukemia test, Leukemia prevention shot, Basic health exam, Microchipping (implanted I.D.), Flea control (varies depending on size), License, Food, Grooming, Cat Litter, Litter box and scoop, Collars and leashes, Toys, Pet Bed, Pet Carrier.
Please note that this list is based on a 15-year life expectancy and does not include all the expenses you will incur.
Don’t forget training, illness, treats, bowls, a doghouse, kennel fees, etc. It is estimated that the average cost per year of
owning a cat or dog is about $1,000.
CAN I HAVE A PET WHERE I CURRENTLY LIVE?
How many times do I think I'll move in the next 15 years?
Many rental communities either don’t allow pets or have restrictions as to the type of pets they allow. It is not uncommon for landlords to require an additional deposit if you own a pet. If you might move within the next 15 years, are you willing to move the pet too, and restrict your choice of housing to places where pets are allowed and where they will have the space they require?
HOW WILL I CARE FOR THIS PET WHILE ON VACATION?
You will need reliable friends, relatives or money to pay for a boarding kennel or pet sitter.
IS THIS THE RIGHT PET FOR ME AND MY LIFESTYLE?
Adopting a large or energetic dog to share your small apartment, for example, is probably not going to be successful. Some breeds of dogs require a lot of physical and mental exercise, and if you are not willing to commit the time and energy required to properly care for these dogs it is likely they will display their frustration with any or all of the following behaviors: barking, digging, chewing or jumping.
Look at your lifestyle and then do some research to determine the pet that will best fit in with you and your family. There can be a long list of questions and things to consider but a quick stroll through an animal shelter will illustrate why answering these questions before you decide to adopt is so important. Remember, thousands of unwanted animals end up in shelters every year and far too many of these homeless animals end up being euthanized simply for lack of space, funding and resources.