Getting Ready to Adopt
Adding a furry family member can be exciting. There are many good reasons why we should adopt a pet. They bring lots of joy to our lives, they are cute, cuddly and provide companionship to many. Dogs can bring us healing and health benefits; Some dogs have been able to sense illness in their human parents. I recently read an article about dogs saving lives by predicting seizures in their owners. They can also help teach our children responsibility and can become your child's best friend. Dogs bring unconditional love into our lives.
Simply put, animals are wonderful and for many, part of the family which they could not even fathom living without. But many people do not realize that adopting a pet comes with many responsibilities. Things that we may not even realize until after the fact. They require the same care and consideration as any other member of our family. We know what they can do for us, but can we and are we willing to return the favor?
Here are some important things to keep in mind before adopting your next pet. See if you are ready.
Can you Afford a Pet?
Initially adopting a pet can be very inexpensive. Going to your local shelter or getting a pet from someone who has re-homed for free is a great way to save a pet. But it is very important to think about the costs of maintaining your pet's health and well being. Here are some things to keep in mind before adopting a pet.
- First off you need to buy food. Pet food can be expensive and remember they will NEED to eat.
- Vet bills. You will need to keep your pet updated with shots and monthly treatments for fleas,tics, worms etc. The treatments are not cheap. You will need to use good products which will work otherwise you will wind up having to take your pet to the vet for further treatments.
- Unexpected illness. It may never happen, but what happens if your pet gets sick or hurt? Will you have the means to take proper care of them? Vet bills can run in the thousands of dollars.
- Boarding or pet sitters. If you need to go away and are not able to take your pet with you, are you able to afford care for them?
- Treats and toys. Treats and toys are not required, but pets do find pleasure in these things. They will need things to keep them occupied while you are not spending time with them.
- Extra cleaning. Pets have fur, well at least most of them. Your furniture, clothing and rugs may require extra cleaning. Pets also have accidents. Frequent cleaning or replacing of items may be required.
Do You Have the Time?
Lets face it. Most of us are busy. We work full time jobs and then have errands to run after work. The thought of coming home to a loving puppy sounds wonderful, but if you leave the house at 7 am and do not return until 6 pm, you have left your puppy home alone all day with no companionship. Though they may seem very happy and excited to see you when you get home, think of how many hours you have been gone. Besides for them being lonely all day, you can't expect them to hold back the urge to go to the bathroom for 11 hours. You will have to make some kind of arrangements to allow them to go to the bathroom and to get the exercise that they need.
It may not be something you think about too much before you adopt a pet but attention is very important. Are you going to spend quality time with your pet? Are you going to be able to devote the time and love that they need? Adding a pet to your family will require that you play with and pay attention to them.You have to take them for walks, even if it is cold or raining. They will want to be pet and be cuddled. After a long day at work will you want them following you around the house or will you get easily frustrated and push them away?
Do You Travel Often?
You may like to go away for the weekend at times or on a vacation. Before you adopt a pet this is something you need to think about. It may not always be possible to bring your pet with you. Would you be able to find a trusting person to pet sit? If not, will you have the extra money to put them in a kennel? Would you be willing to change your plans if you could not find other arrangements? This may put you in a bind that you were not expecting. What would you do if this happened?
Going on vacation
Will Your Children Take Responsibility?
I know most kids love dogs. They beg us to adopt a pet. Children tend to get really excited with the thought of having their own puppy. They will beg you and promise you that they will take great care of them. I am not saying that all kids will not live up to their promises, but a lot kids will not. Sure for the first couple of weeks they will feed them, walk them, clean up after them but then when the excitement wears off, so will the responsibility.
If you adopt a pet on the basis of your child caring for them, expect the responsibility to soon become yours. Is this something that you really want? Yes making our kids happy is important,but we must take into consideration the reality. That reality being caring for the dog will more than likely become your job.
What Would You Do if You Move?
You may live in a place which allows pets now. But what happens if you have to move? What happens if for some reason you have to move all of a sudden? Your pet becomes part of your family and you will not want to have to get rid of them. You have to think about the future and the possibility of having to relocate to another place that will allow pets, even if it is not your first choice of places to go. There may be future sacrifices on your part and you need to be okay with that.
Some places require pet rent or pet deposits. Are you able to afford the extra monthly rent or the deposit required for the pet? If you try to sneak your pet in without paying the deposit, there is a chance of you being evicted or the chance that you may have to get rid of your new pet.
Do You Have Enough Space?
Some pets require little room. An apartment would be adequate for them. But there are many breeds of dogs which require a lot of space. They may need a backyard to run in or plenty of room inside. If you do live in a small place with little outside room, choose a dog which will be able to live a healthy life in that environment. It will be unfair to your pet to confide them to a space not large enough for them.
So Are You Ready to Adopt a Pet?
I love animals and I think that adopting a dog or any pet is a wonderful thing. They can bring us many great memories and lots of laughs. But I have seen many instances where people have gotten in over their head and wind up having to bring their pet back to a shelter or re-homing them again. Remember we accept them as part of our family but they also accept us as part of their family. Making our pets go from home to home or shelter to shelter can be upsetting and unhealthy for these animals.
There is no reason to jump into adopting a pet. Make sure you have all the basis covered first. Then when the time is right, go ahead and find the perfect dog to invite into your home. You will then be able to gain a lifetime companion and friend.
© 2014 Jennifer Bates
Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on July 07, 2015:
So important to think before you adopt.