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Adopting A Pet: Introduction

Thinking about adopting a new pet? There are multiple factors to consider when selecting which furry companion to welcome into your home.

First and foremost, you need to consider your lifestyle, both currently and in the future.  Questions to ask yourself include: What kind of housing can you offer? Do you live in a house or apartment; do you have a backyard or access to pet-friendly parks? You need to ensure that your housing situation is conducive for possessing a pet, and the type you have in mind.  What are your work and/or school hours like?  Will you be able to provide your pet with adequate amounts of exercise, socialization and attention? Who lives with you?  For example, do you live with a roommate, partner, kids, elderly family members, etc.?  Ensuring that you have full support of those living with you, is important when adopting a pet, as they may be called to lend a hand in the care and training of your pet.  If children live in or visit your home, you will need to ensure your pet is tolerant of children, and in return, the children are taught how to treat your pet respectfully, interact with them in a safe manner, and always under supervision.  Do you travel, and if so, can you bring your pet with you? If not, do you have a means of caring for your pet while you are gone either in the form of a sitter, or a boarding facility?

Budgeting for a pet is also an important factor in the adoption process.  Adopting a pet is a major responsibility, and should not be entered in lightly.  When determining the budget for your pet, you need to consider more than simply the cost of purchasing the pet itself, and the food to feed it. There are costs associated with basic care and housing, such as food dishes, leashes, toys, litter boxes etc.  Furthermore, routine veterinary care (annual exams and vaccines), is important in keeping your pet healthy.  Funds should also be set aside for unexpected or emergency medical fees, because, just like humans, pets get sick too! There are different ways to budget for a pet, including pet insurance or opening up a separate bank account for your pet. Use whichever method works best for your financial situation; just make sure it’s an informed decision.

Finally, it is important to pick a reliable source when acquiring the pet.  Knowledgeable breeders, shelters or rescue centres are often open about a breed’s advantages and disadvantages and protective of their charges.  Your local veterinarian can also assist as they will have experience with a breed’s behavioural and medical predispositions.  Ask questions, and insist on seeing the living conditions of the pet in question.

In a nutshell: can your lifestyle support the introduction of a furry family member? Have you done the sufficient research and reflection?

Other factors we will investigate include:

  • Choosing between an adult pet or a young pet (puppy/kitten)
  • Choosing between a male or female pet
  • Choosing between a small, medium or large breed
  • How coat length can be a factor in deciding breed
  • The Purebred vs. Mixed Breed Debate

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