There are many things to consider before adopting a new pet, whether you’re thinking you want a puppy or a mature dog, or whether you’re leaning more towards a cat or bird. Here’s a quick list of things to think about before signing any papers.
- Lifestyle. Think about what type of person you are. Do you stay home often? Are you rarely home? Do you work from you? Do you enjoy outdoor sports? You want a pet that will fit your current lifestyle choices.
- Living arrangements. Do you live with 3 young children? Is it just you in your home? Not all pets are great with children, and others prefer being with many people rather than just one. Will your pet have a designated space to make their own? Are you allowed dogs in your rental suite, or only cats and smaller animals? And don’t forget allergies of anyone living in your household, too.
- Time. Carefully consider whether you have the time to take care of a pet, especially when it comes to potty-training a puppy or making them feel comfortable in a new environment away from their mothers. Do you travel often? Think about whether this is conducive to having a pet.
- Lifespan. Some animals live as long as 15 years or longer. Can you commit to them for that long? Do not consider taking on a new pet if you plan to give them up after only a few.
- Money. Pets cost a lot, not only to adopt them but to care for their health needs, too. Can you afford both the predictable and unforeseen costs associated with owning a pet? Can you afford pet insurance to help cover any emergencies?
- Handling. If a dog is what you are after, consider how large they grow and how much weight they can pull. If you are a person of small stature, it may not be wise to get a Great Dane, for example!
- Personality. If you are a home body who loves to snuggle up on the couch, consider an animal that would enjoy that too. Head to your local shelters or meet face-to-face with someone looking for a new home for their pet so that you can get a feel for their personality before you take them home.