Top 5 Considerations Before You Adopt a Pet

 Pet Net Contributor

I am excited and honored to be participating in this year’s 2012 Pet ‘Net Event! Organized by Petside, Pet ‘Net brings together pet-focused bloggers to write about a single topic. The next 5 days (November 26 to 30) will be dedicated to this year’s topic: Pet Adoption.

Because this year marks Pet ‘Net’s 5th anniversary, my supporting posts are all in 5’s!

And be sure to visit the Pet ‘Net hub page everyday this week to enter your zip code. After all the zips are tallied, a $5,000 donation from Petside will be given to a local animal shelter in the winning community. The winning shelter will be announced on December 17.

Read. Learn. Enjoy. (And maybe, Adopt!)

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Of all the posts I’ve written for this week, this one is by far the most important. For a successful pet adoption, the kind of adoption that lasts a lifetime, careful thought must be given. If you’re thinking of adopting a pet, make this post the START of your research. Go on to read about pet adoption on the wonderful sites of  Petside, Petfinder, and the ASPCA sites. Talk to the animal advocates at the shelters in your area. Enter this new phase of your life with your eyes as wide open as possible, and your house in order. Do not risk a failed adoption. Fall in love wisely.

Do You Have The Time?

When you bring a pet into your life, you’re making a long-term commitment. Some pets–like parrots–can live for decades!  Also, it’s important to think of the day-to-day time needed for grooming, training, exercise, and companionship. These are all important aspects of being a pet parent and will vary depending on the species or breed you adopt. If you only come home to sleep, then there are definitely some pets that are not for you–maybe an aquarium of fish?

Do You Have The Money?

At the basic level, there’s the cost for food. Some pets may also need special nutritional supplements. Consider the cost of veterinary visits, along with the need for items like flea repellents and heartworm pills. And the possible cost for professional grooming. If you’re in an apartment or rented house, you my have to pay a premium to the landlord in order to have a pet. If you own your house, you may want to consider an addition to your home-owner’s insurance so that you’re covered in case your new dog bites someone. (From Petfinder: Estimated Yearly Costs of Pet Ownership.)

Click here to read how research and asking questions helped Lily find her furever home with a family who had allergies.

Do You Have Family Buy-In?

Make sure your wife/husband/partner/roommate wants a pet as much as you do! Also, consider the children of the household–are they old enough/tall enough to hold their own with a 120-pound Great Dane? Talk to your family about what kind of pet they want. And have a good discussion about who will do the work of caring for the pet. Don’t expect the kids to carry the load alone, because that’s not going to happen no matter how many promises are made! What about allergies?

Do You Have The Space?

That 120-pound Great Dane I mentioned above? Might not do well in a small, cramped apartment. Some pets, like birds, have a minimum requirement for sunlight, sleep, and air quality. You may need to “pet-proof” your house–rabbits have been known to chew on electrical cords that run along the floorboards, and puppies will chew on just about anything. Consider your neighbors–will your squawking parrot disturb them? Does your lease even allow you to have a pet? Check out local and state regulations because within some jurisdictions, certain dogs and exotic pets are illegal.

Do You Have The Right Pet Choice?

Research! Go to sites like Petfinder, the ASPCA, and Petside and read about different breeds/species to find a pet that will fit your lifestyle/living space/family situation.  Do not go blindly into a pet adoption. Research to find the pet match that will insure you a beautiful and happy relationship for a lifetime! Before you adopt, understand the needs of the pet you’re considering and accept the adjustments you will need to make in order to bring your new buddy into your life. It will be worth it!

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PET ADOPTION FACTOID: More than 7 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year.

Iams Home 4 the Holidays started in 1999 when Helen Woodward Animal Center began the program with Iams and 14 participating shelters in San Diego County. Today, thousands of pet adoption centers and rescue organizations from around the world participate in the program from October 1 to January 2. Working together, more than 7 million pets and counting have been adopted to date.

Iams Home 4 the Holidays

3 thoughts on “Top 5 Considerations Before You Adopt a Pet

  1. Adopting a pet is a LIFETIME commitment. As important as entering into marriage with your spouse. So taking the time to do your research and figure out what works best with your family and lifestyle is a must. Thanks for the great tips to starting the researching process!!

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