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Adopting a Pet? Here's A Checklist

After months of self-doubt and deliberation, guessing and second guessing yourself, and finally acquiring all the necessary permissions from the parental units, you’ve decided to adopt a pet. Well, hooray for you. Adopting a pet is not an easy decision and if you’ve adopted a pet before or even owned one before, then you know the joy and happiness pets bring to our mundane human lives while offering constant companionship and teaching us some required life lessons.

However, before you embark on this whirlwind of a journey, you should go over the below mentioned questions and plan accordingly.

Adopting a pet

Do you have the time to look after a pet?

It is extremely fun to have a pet, no doubt but have you considered if you truly have the time for one? Before you adopt a pet consider if you can make the time for your pet because being a pet parent is not an easy task and requires you to sacrifice a considerable amount of your time.

Whether it is a solitary goldfish that you’re adopting or an overfriendly Labrador, your pet will eat up into your time and you may need to skip out on some of the activities you’re used to in order to make time for your new friend. Whether you want to go on a weeklong vacation or make an impulsive two day camping trip to the nearest hilly ranges, you will need to factor in pet care.

Do you have someone you could turn to and ask to take care of your pet while you’re away? Are there kennels or reputable pet resorts or can you find a pet sitter? Training your pet is another aspect that requires you to put some thought into. Apart from that, your pet requires some TLC – tender, loving care from you and the kind of pet you own will result in varying degrees of the time and attention you need to devote to the animal.

Taking your pet for a walk, training them, visits to the vet or simply spending time with them are crucial aspects of pet care, and you need to consider this before you adopt a pet. Do your research ahead of time and factor in possible scenarios and  situations you’ll have to deal with. No pet wants to be adopted only to be neglected or sent back to a shelter.

Is your home pet friendly?

Just like you baby proof your home before welcoming a child in to your home, it is necessary to ensure that your home is safe for the pet cat or dog or hamster or whatever it is that you are adopting. Animals can get into just as much as trouble as kids, hence,  it is wise to plan and arrange or rearrange your home, if need be, to suit the lifestyle of your pet.

Ask any dog owner and they’ll tell you that dogs will chew anything they can, and cats will play with any dangling cloth or string left around. Look around your house and see what kind of appliances or objects your pet could get entangled with and move them to a different location. You might also need to do away with certain kinds of plants and foods that are safe for humans but could be hazardous for pets. You also need to consider the size of the space the pet requires before you bring one home.

Dogs are generally active animals and prefer running around while cats on the other hand require less space. Just analyse and evaluate the space your pet will require before signing those adoption papers and bringing them home.

What kind of animal are you planning to adopt?

If you haven’t already zeroed in on the kind on animal you plan on adopting, then you’re in for quite a ride. You’ll find plenty of adorable animals in shelters and adoption homes, all of  which you’ll want to bundle up and bring home. While we understand the sentiment, we’d recommend exercising caution and being very objective and rational wile choosing your pet.

Do your research and learn what kind of needs the pet has and what its nature is like. Some breeds of dogs are quite boisterous and active while others are less excited; cats can be quite aloof and not be the most love giving, attention needing animals. Assess your personality and lifestyle before finalising on a pet.

If going on walks and indulging in physical activity is not your cup of tea, maybe consider overlooking certain breeds of dogs as dogs require exercise and play times. Are you  or any members in your family allergic to any animal? Furthermore, if you already have pets, will your pets get along with the animal you plan on adopting?

Can you afford a pet?

At the end of the day, whether we like it or not, money  matters. The costs of owning a furry or a feathery or a scaly friend can be quite daunting and planning and analysing if you have the financial resources to afford a pet is a prerequisite.

One of the very first bills you need to consider is the adoption charges. While adoption certainly cuts down expenses massively as compared to buying a pet from a breeder, not everyone may be able to foot the bill. Healthcare is another area that will drain you of your finances as pets need to be vaccinated, taken to the vet annually and might have unprecedented health issues.

Consider investing in pet insurance to mitigate some of the healthcare shock later. It is recommended that you opt for pet insurance while your pet is still young as pet insurance gets more expensive the older you pet gets. If you’re choosing to opt out of pet insurance, consider saving up and keeping aside funds for a rainy day.

Finally, remember that your pet will depend solely on you for all their needs and will continue to do all their life and not just till they go to University or get a job. Bottom line being that owning a pet is literally like parenting and you want to walk in with your eyes wide open.

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