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Five questions to ask yourself before adopting a pet

 by bora on 28 Jan 2020 |
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Adopting a pet is a big commitment. Before you bring one home, ask yourself these questions to be sure you’re ready to be a pet parent.

The term “pet parent” exists for a reason: Just like human children, pets require a lifetime commitment of time, financial resources, and affection. Before you bring a new cat or dog home, it is important to assess whether you are truly ready for a four-legged family member. Here are a few questions to help you decide.

1. How long will my pet live? Pets’ life spans vary based on type, breed, size and other factors. Some small dogs can live up to 20 years, so it is important to not only evaluate your current living situation, but any changes that may arise throughout the course of your pet’s life. Likewise, if you have young children, you will need to consider whether your pet of choice is sturdy enough to handle rough play.

2. How much free time do I have? Some pets requires more attention than others. While cats tend to be more independent, dogs—and especially puppies—require a substantial amount of time devoted to training, socializing, and other daily activities. If you do not have enough time to devote to a dog, consider bringing home a cat, or even lower-maintenance pet such as fish, until you are ready for a bigger commitment. If you enjoy traveling, this should also be a factor when considering whether you are ready to for a new pet.

3. Where does my disposable income stand? Pets may initially seem inexpensive, but vet bills and other expenses can add up quickly—especially when unexpected emergencies arise. Be sure you have plenty of money to give your new pet the care he deserves, from purchasing food and toys to medicine and emergency care.

4. What does my home look like? Pets can require a lifestyle shift for some new owners. For dogs in particular, smaller spaces will mean you need to devote more time to taking your pet outside for adequate exercise. If you are a proud plant parent, you may need to reassess your home before bringing in a curious feline, who can eat poisonous houseplants when left unattended.

5. How much do I exercise? While cats require little more than regular play with a fishing pole or other toy, dogs will need daily walks or other exercise. This varies hugely depending on breed, so consider your own activity levels carefully before committing to a high-energy pet. Even if you choose a cat or small dog, be sure you are willing to spend time each day engaging in play or exercise with your pet to ensure he receives the physical and mental stimulation he needs.

Though pets can be hard work, the rewards of caring for a four-legged companion are immense, as long as you ensure you are ready to provide plenty of care for the specific companion you choose to bring home.

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