5 Things You Should Consider Before Adopting A Pet

It’s nothing new for children to want a pet growing up, but it is becoming more and more popular for couples to want to adopt a pet together.

As a seemingly growing new trend, it’s important for those thinking about adopting animals into their family and lifestyle to understand that this is a serious decision. You are literally a new life being brought into your family and home. It might not be a child, but a fur baby still requires a lot of attention, finances, and care.

Getting a pet should not be a spur of the moment decision.

Here are 5 things you should carefully consider before determining if getting an animal companion is right for you at this time.

1 — It’s a Lifetime Commitment

According to the ASPCA, about 7.6 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters every year. These are animals being given up because their owners cannot or will not take care of them or because their owners have passed away.

Adopting a pet is bringing another life into your care and custody. It’s a new and big deal for both you and the animal companion being adopted.

You and/or your family become the care takers and providers for the animal. It’s agreeing to give the animal the necessary care and at minimum basic needs for its lifetime.

2 — Not All Pets Are Created Equal

The next important factor is knowing that all animals are different. Just like people, animals depending on type and breed have different habits, as well as individual personalities. All cats are not the same, and all dogs are not the same.

Depending on the animal, different types and breeds of animals have different generalized characteristics, needs, medical care, and habitats. Each is key to know during your decision making.

Of course, the bigger the animal, the more space it will need. If the animal is inside of a residence, it should have space to move around inside, as well as also have plenty of space or area outside. If it is an outside animal, such as a horse, having lots of area to run and shelter away from the weather elements.

Personal space for the animal is also important. This space should be just for them. For a horse, it would include its own stall for rest. Dog beds, blankets, and/or crates can create a personal space for a dog. For a cat, beds, blankets, mats, and cat condos are great ways to give your feline friend space. For smaller companions, such as mice, gerbils, ferrets, guinea pigs, reptiles, and fish, their own tank or cage is nice personal space with their accessories.

Your animal companion could require a lot or little of care, space, and attention depending on breed, personality, and/or medical conditions.

3 — Initial Costs

When adopting an animal, you should consider the initial costs of adoption. Besides the possible adoption fees associated with the animal, there is a need for shelter, bedding, toys, food, food dishes, spaying/neutering fees, and training costs.

Of course, all these different types of initial costs are not for every animal or every situation. If you are adopting a cat or dog from an animal shelter or rescue, many times, the adoption fee includes the cost to spay or neuter.

Animal housing or shelter is another part of the initial cost; that is having a place for the animal to stay or live in. For cats and dogs being inside a home is easy and maybe fencing in the backyard for free space for a dog. But for many smaller animal companions, such as gerbils and reptiles, as well as larger companions, such as horses, they need special shelters.

Additionally, the animal will need its own bed, blankets, toys, food, and food dishes. For cats, you should also have litter and litter box. These things help ease them into their new home and feel comfortable, as well as providing normalcy. Again, this will depend on the animal as to the cost of these items.

Lastly, training costs may be part of your initial costs. Obedience school is somewhat popular for dogs. Horses would be another type of animal companion that may need training, such as lessons in learning to walk and/or run with a rider.

4 — Continuous Costs

However, costs are continuous with your new family member.

As you budget for the month, you will need to include the cost of food and grooming for animal companions. Additionally, if you have a puppy that is using training pads, than puppy training pads are needed. And cats need fresh liter.

As extras, you may also want to give treats and new toys. Treats help you to reward your companions. And toys give them something new to play with and learn to use.

Lastly, some of the biggest continued costs are visits to the vet, including shots, and medications. Regular vet visits to check your pet’s health, shots are often necessary to keep up to date, and medications, such as flea and tick treatments or care for diseases or concerns that may come up over time in your animal companion’s life.

5 — Daily Care

Animals require daily care, companionship, and considerations just like people.

If it’s a family pet, everyone, whom is able, should have a role to care for the animal companion. This could be something as simple as giving food or water or letting outside.

Your lifestyle should also be suitable for your animal companion. If you have a job that requires a lot of travel or you simply like to spend your weekends on trips out of town, think about the animal and if they would be able to accompany you or have the needed and appropriate care.

The Takeaway

Animal companions should not be a spur of the moment decision. This is a big decision that should be carefully considered as you are committing to the life of another living creature.

Have you carefully considered the in your decision to adopt? If so and you are ready to adopt, check your local shelters for some wonderful animals looking for a new home.

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