Owning a pet is a big responsibility and the decision to get one should not be taken lightly. Here are some questions that you should ask before inviting a new pet into your home.
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Adopting a Pet
Can I afford it?
Maybe you can afford the $75 or $125 now to adopt the pet, but what about food, veterinarian bills and accessories? A good owner keeps up with the annual physicals, vaccinations and shots. Can you afford this? What if Rex or Fluffy gets into an accident or suddenly gets sick? Do you have the money to take him to the vet for an examination, x-rays and/or medications? Can you afford to get Rex or Fluffy food that is full of nutrients? Can you afford to buy Rex's doghouse or Fluffy's cat litter? Can you afford to pay for Rex's training & behavior classes? What about collars, leashes, bowls and toys? What happens when you go away for a vacation? Do you know someone that will take care of Rex & Fluffy? If not, then you need to board them at a kennel. Are you willing to pay for this? These are all things that you need to consider.
About adopting a pet
Does my landlord allow pets?
If your landlord does not allow pets, then you cannot and should not adopt a pet. You will probably be caught and then what happens to Rex? Back to the shelter or left out on the street?
Adopting a Pet
Would I give up my pet if it were difficult to find a place to live with a pet?
Many landlords do not allow pets - especially dogs. You need to seriously consider whether you would take the extra effort to find a place that does allow pets. You may have had Fluffy for two years and need to move but it has been difficult to find a place that will accept pets. Will you give in and give her up, or will you be persistent and keep looking?
Can I see myself owning this pet for the next 15 to 20 years?
Some dogs and cats live to the ages of up to 15-20 years (and that's not in dog years). Are you ready to live and care for Fluffy for this long? Are you sure you'll be willing to walk Rex everyday for the rest of his life?
Do I have time in my busy schedule for a new pet?
Do you time have time in your schedule to walk Rex 2-3 times a day? Do you have time to housebreak your new puppy? This takes a lot of work. Even adopting an adult dog is a lot of work. This adult needs to get used to a new schedule. He may have had a different schedule in his previous home and he may have been in the shelter for a while. If not done properly, the housebreaking period could be prolonged and this can be frustrating. Do you have someone that can help you out with this? Fluffy may not need extensive training, but like Rex, she needs companionship and quality time with you.
We're getting Rex and Fluffy for the kids, they will do all the work.
Maybe for the first week or so, but most kids will slack off soon enough and the responsibility will fall in your laps. You are considered to be the owner because you are over the age of 18. If your kids do not walk Rex or clean Fluffys' litterbox, then it is up to you that it gets done. As much as we talk to our kids about responsibility and as much as they agree to care for your new pet, we all know that sooner or later most kids will lose interest or get tired.
I have a back yard so I don't have to walk Rex everyday.
Wrong! Go to the "Pet Owner FAQ" section of this website and you will see why. Being let out in the backyard does not supply Rex with enough exercise. He needs to go on a nice long walk with you (on the leash) where he'll get plenty of exercise and be able to socialize with other dogs and people.
Rex and Fluffy never go outside, so they don't need annual vaccinations or physicals. Wrong!
Whether or not they go out, it is required that both Fluffy and Rex get their rabies shots. Rex is also required to have a license with the city. There are other annual shots and seasonal medications that they should get. Ask your veterinarian for more information.