- What do you expect your pet to contribute to your life? For example, do you want a running and hiking buddy, or is your idea of exercise watching it on TV?
- If you are thinking of adopting a young animal, do you have the time and patience to work with the pet through its adolescence, taking house-breaking, chewing and energy-level into account?
- Have you considered your lifestyle carefully and determined whether a younger or older animal would be a better match for you?
- Can you train and handle a pet with behavior issues or are you looking for an easy-going friend?
- Do you need a pet who will be reliable with children or one you can take with you when you travel?
- Do you want a pet who follows you all around the house or would you prefer a less clingy, more independent character?
Size Considerations (for Dogs)
- What size dog can your home accommodate?
- Will you have enough room if your dog grows to be bigger than expected?
- What size pet would suit the other people who live in or visit your home regularly?
- Do you have another pet to consider when choosing the size of your next pet?
- How big a pet can you travel comfortably with?
More likely than not, the adopting agency will charge a fee to help defray the cost of taking in unwanted or lost animals. The adoption fee you pay will be a tiny fraction of the money you will spend over the life of your pet.
Some expenses are mandatory for all pets, including:
- Routine veterinary care
- Licensing according to local regulations
- Collars, leashes and identification tags
- Kitty litter and box
- Basic grooming equipment and supplies
Other expenditures may not be required but are highly recommended
- Permanent identification, such as a microchip or tattoo
- Training classes
- Additional grooming supplies or professional grooming (depending on your new pet’s needs)
- A spare collar or leash
- A bed and toys
- A crate or carrier
Unexpected costs: Accidents and illness can result in costly emergency veterinary care. Recovery tools for finding a missing pet can include posters and rewards.
A pet with special physical or behavioral challenges may require specialized professional support to overcome any obstacles these issues present.
Pets need to be fed two to three times a day, more often in the case of puppies, and need a constant supply of fresh water.
A responsible pet parent should spend at least one hour per day giving direct attention to his or her pet. This may include training, exercising, grooming, and playing or, with cats, may just be lap time on the couch. Dogs will need to be taken out to potty several times a day.
A pet with an abundance of energy needs more time to exercise and interactive toys to keep them entertained.
Pets with long coats need 20 minutes a day of grooming to prevent matting.
Pets with certain medical conditions may need additional attention, including specifically timed injections in the case of diabetic animals.
Remember that adopted pets may need additional bonding and reassurance time in the early weeks.