Adopting a pet can be a wonderful thing; it can be therapeutic for the owner and it can save an animal’s life. However, many people don’t consider the amount of responsibility that goes into adopting a pet, especially if the animal has been through something traumatic.
The City of Calgary has released a list of things to consider before you adopt a pet in 2016. Ask yourself these questions before you go forward with adoption.
1. Consider the future.
The pet you adopt today could live up to 10 to 15 years or more. Planning how you will care for your pet in the future is important to think about before you make the lifelong commitment.
2. How much time do I have every day?
Pets can demand a lot of time and even cats require you to have a routine and schedule. Walking, playing, grooming, feeding and training are just some of the things that will regularly have you sharing your time with your furry companion.
3. Consider the cost.
Animals can be very expensive. High quality food, grooming appointments, pet supplies, training classes and veterinary care expenses are just some of the costs you will encounter as a pet owner.
4. How long will it take to train my pet?
Dogs and cats aren’t born knowing good manners – they need to learn. Investing time into training isn’t just about building skills though, it’s also about building a relationship with your new dog or cat during a special time together.
5. Factor in kids or future plans for kids.
If you have children or if kids are in your future you will need to plan around that when choosing what pet to adopt. Just like humans, not all pets love hanging out with kids.
6. Know what you want.
Are you looking for a furry friend to snuggle on the couch? An exercise buddy? An agility star? Having a clear idea of what you hope to get out of your relationship with your new pet will help you narrow down your choices when considering potential adoptees.
7. Do you already have other pets?
If you have pets in the home, how will you prepare them for the new arrival? Both The City and Calgary Humane Society require any dog-to-dog introductions before an adoption is final.
8. Pet proof your home.
Many dogs and cats never cause any property damage in a home, but just in case it is important that you pet-proof as much as possible and temporarily put away any items you fear may get damaged until you understand how your new pet behaves at home.
9. Research is key.
Different breeds and ages will vary in their personalities and energy levels, so plenty of research prior to committing to a new friend is essential.
10. This is for life.
Adoption decisions should never be rushed. If you need extra time to think about your adoption decision it is okay to sleep on it. There will always be animals looking for a “forever home.”