Adopting a family pet is a huge commitment and one that should never be taken lightly. I firmly believe that choosing to adopt a pet is just as big of a commitment as having a baby. When you bring a pet into your home, they become a member of your family. It’s a life-long commitment. And yet so many adopt pets without first taking the time to do their research and fully think the decision through.
Our newsfeeds are cluttered with families looking to re-home their pets for various reasons whether it’s not having enough time to spend with them or they’re moving or even that they’re just not wanting to spend the money needed for training. Seeing these posts in my feed is so heartbreaking and I take this topic so seriously. So today I wanted to go over six super important questions you should always ask yourself prior to adopting a family pet.
1. Do I have the space in my home for a pet?
If you’re not a homeowner then you’re going to run into some restrictions on where you can live with a pet. Some accept any and all pets. Some may have restrictions on the type of pet (cat vs. dog). Some don’t allow pets at all. Some may have breed and/or weight restrictions. We have a 100 pound German Shepard so in some areas it can be super challenging to find a rental that will accept him. If you’re not ready to tackle these restrictions then don’t take on a pet!
2. Do I have the time and money to dedicate towards training?
Every dog should go through some sort of training as a puppy to learn all the basic commands as well as potty training. Sometimes further issues could arise in the future such as aggression or anxiety or excessive barking. Whatever it may be, always count on having to put your pet through training a few times in their lifetime. And remember that training costs money.
If you’re reading this and thinking “my dog won’t need training” or “I can train them myself”, then do not bring a pet into your home. It’s important to think ahead to the what if’s. If you’re prepared to put your new fur baby through training if an issue arises then you’re good to go here.
3. Am I in a career that allows me time to put towards caring for a pet?
This is so important. Pets require A LOT of care and attention. If you’re looking at getting a larger breed like a German Shepard then know that your pet is going to need a lot of exercise on a daily basis. So if you’re in a career where you’re working overtime every week and simply don’t have the time to bring your pet to a dog park or for a run or toss a ball around in the back yard for a while then you probably don’t need a pet. Exercise needs to happen on a daily basis so this alone is a commitment.
4. Can I afford pet insurance and medical bills?
Like people, pets should have pet insurance. This can help cover everything from routine vet visits to flea and tick medications to shots. It can also help lesson the financial blow if your pet were to get sick or seriously injured. Don’t be that person who thinks “that will never happen to my pet”. It can happen to your pet so you need to be thinking ahead to those possibilities and determine if you’re in a place financially to be able to afford these kinds of issues.
5. Who will be the one to take care of this pet?
If your reason for getting a dog is because your two year old wants one then you need to take a step back and reevaluate that decision. Chances are your two year old won’t be the one feeding him, grooming him, taking him for walks, tossing a ball around the yard for him, taking him to vet appointments, paying for flea and tick meds, etc. So going back to the above points, if YOU do not have the time for this pet, then now is not the right time to get one.
6. Will my kids and/or current pets be okay with a new pet?
This is crucial. If your pets do not like other animals, do not assume that they’ll adjust after a while. That is not always the case and you do not want to be in a position where you’re trying to re-home your pet after only a few weeks or months. If your pets do not like other animals then do not bring another animal into your home. Same goes for children. Always make sure any new animal likes and gets along with everyone in the home prior to actually deciding to take them in.