It’s all too easy to instantly fall in love with the photos of any of the adorable dogs and cats for adoption on Get Your Pet. But before you schedule a meet-up with, or adopt, that lovable pooch or purr-fect kitty, ask yourself some practical questions.
- Do I have the time? Time commitments are one of the biggest reasons Guardians need to rehome their pet. Walking your dog or cleaning out your cat’s litter box are small daily tasks that are just the beginning of what pet owners must commit to. A job that takes you out of the home for 8-9 hours a day can severely crimp your ability to spend time with your newly adopted pet. Before adopting, ask yourself – are you willing to make time to play with and care for your pet each day? Pets are wonderful companions and make great friends, and it’s not uncommon for dogs and cats to want to follow you around the house as you go about your chores. But you have to be prepared to direct some attention just to them, too.
- Am I ready for this responsibility? Owning a dog or cat is like being a parent. After all, a living, breathing being is relying on you for their basic needs, comfort, and companionship! If you can puppy-proof or cat-proof your home, and are open to adjusting your lifestyle to meet the needs of an animal, you may be ready to adopt.
- Am I financially capable? Nobody expects a sudden illness or medical emergency to strike, but it happens. Are you prepared to deal with unforeseen or even routine vet bills? Being able to afford basic veterinary care is a must for pet owners. Can your budget accommodate the food, toys, litter, doggy beds, or other things your pet will need?
- Don’t adopt on impulse. Take time to consider exactly what owning a dog or cat will entail. Could it interfere with your work schedule? Your travel plans? Does your landlord allow you to have that particular breed of dog? These are among the many factors you need to consider and work out in advance of adopting a pet.
- Embrace the responsibility. If you make the decision to adopt a pet, you are the person responsible for caring for them. Don’t expect your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, family members, children or anyone else to be in charge of caring for the pet, unless you’ve previously agreed on this together. Owning a pet can be work, and even well-meaning animal lovers can find themselves overwhelmed by it.
Adopting a pet is a wonderful, fulfilling, rewarding, exciting, and sometimes crazy journey. Sharing your home and heart with a furry friend is something you can’t put a price on—but don’t be so eager for the love that you forget to think it through calmly first. After you do, and when you’re ready, there are plenty of wonderful, adoptable dogs and cats on getyourpet.com waiting for a pet lover like you.