Folks, it’s a new year with an all-new set of resolutions, one of which may be caring more for the homeless animals in our communities.
This could mean welcoming a new pet into your home. But adopting an animal is a big step, and it’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of having a new, furry friend in your life.
So ask yourself: Are you and your family are ready to give an animal a great forever home? These follow-up questions can help you make these serious decisions.
1. Do I Have Time to Care for a New Pet?
Adopting a new pet is a serious time commitment, so before you open your home to a new animal, be sure you or someone in your home has the time to properly care for it.
Depending on the type of animal you’re interested in adopting, the new pet may need:
- To be taken for walks
- To be let outside to pee or poop
- To be fed at certain times of the day
- Someone to maintain her cage or litter box
- A healthy amount of companionship
Take a hard look at your family’s daily schedule and sketch out some basic plans for how a new animal could fit into that.
2. Can I Afford to Adopt a New Pet?
It’s tempting to think that you can afford a new pet simply because you can swing the adoption fee. But there are other costs to consider.
Here are just some of the things you can expect to pay for:
- Routine vet visits and shots
- A pet deposit or rental fee if you rent a home or an apartment
- Dental procedures
- Food and treats
- Boarding/pet sitter fees if you travel
- Medications for when your pet is ill
- Any other medical emergencies that may arise
Make sure you have room in your budget for incidental and routine expenses to keep your new pet healthy.
3. Is My Home Right for a New Pet?
Does your landlord have breed restrictions on the types of animals you can adopt? Find this out before the fact rather than afterward to avoid a messy situation.
Also, if you live in an apartment, it’s probably not wise to adopt a large dog who needs room to roam and run.
All animals have their own unique natures, needs and physical attributes, so make sure your home is a welcoming place and can handle the logistical needs of a new pet.
4. Are My Kids/Roommates Ready for a New Pet?
If you’ve got kids or roommates, they need to be prepared to welcome a pet into their home. Ask yourself:
- Will you expect your roomie to care for the pet when you’re on vacation?
- Do you want your kids to feed the new furbaby each day?
- Are there any allergies you need to keep in mind?
Even if roommates or kids are not in charge of caring for the new pet, making your expectations clear to your housemates before the pet is brought home is a great idea.
This rescue center helps rehabilitate dogs so they can find their forever home:
5. Do I Have the Basic Supplies to Care for a New Pet?
Before you bring your new pet home, you need to ensure she has:
- A comfy, warm and safe place to sleep
- A place to easily access food and water
- What she needs for walks (if walks are in order)
- A safe yard to explore (if she goes outside)
- A fun toy or object to play with
You’ll figure out your new pet’s preferences later, but if you’ve got the basics to make your home a welcoming place for your new friend, you’re golden.
Adopting a pet is one of the most rewarding things you can do, but it’s important to go into it with a clear head and a solid care plan. Having a pet is a long-term commitment, so once you, your home and your housemates are ready to welcome the new bundle of fur home, get ready for a fun, loving and gratifying adventure!