Ask Yourself Some Questions
Are you ready to make a long-term commitment? According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), dogs can live 10 to 15 years, and cats can live up to 20 years. Make sure you’re not only ready for a pet now but will be for years to come.
Can you afford a pet? Owning a pet means more than just the cost of food and toys. Grooming, veterinary and other costs can add up quickly. Be sure to do some research on the type of pet you’re planning to adopt to find out the average annual cost to make sure it’s within your budget.
Is your lifestyle conducive to owning a pet? Ensure you’ll have time to connect with your pet and spend lots of quality time together – walking, playing and getting familiar with each other. It’s also important you have the time available to train your pet or research the best local training options.
Research various breeds of dogs and cats to find out about their personalities and to see what’s most suitable for you and your family, especially if you have children. It’s also a good idea to consider if anyone in your family has allergies and try to determine what triggers, such as pet dander, may affect your family. Check out a personal testimony about combatting pet allergies from our colleague, Susan Natoli.
Do your shopping before you bring your new pet home. To save time, make a checklist beforehand of everything you might need, including:
- Cat litter and litter tray
- Collar and leash
- Grooming tools
- Identification tag
- Pet insurance
- Scratching post for cat
- Water and food bowls
Be mindful that having a new pet in the home may take some adjusting at first, but don’t forget that pets can bring so much joy to our lives. Good luck with your new friend and let us know if you have any tips that have worked well for you!
For some tips from our dog and cat experts be sure to read: