Factors to Consider Before Adopting a Pet

June 18, 2019

Thinking of adding an adorable fur baby to your family? Pet adoption is a great alternative to buying from a breeder for the following reasons: Pet adoption is cheaper. It costs about $50-$250, and most adoptable pets come spayed/neutered, microchipped, and with all current vaccinations. Pet adoption saves lives. According to the American Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, approximately 1.5 million pets are euthanized in shelters each year. Pet adoption allows pets to be rehomed. Many pets end up in shelters or with foster families due to extenuating circumstances such as divorce or financial problems, and not because the animal has behavioral issues. Adopting an older pet increases the likelihood that the animal is already house trained, which can save you substantial time and mess. However, while pondering if pet adoption is right for you, you also have to decide if you’re truly ready to take on the responsibility that comes along with the joy of pet ownership. Consider the following factors before adopting a pet.

 

Photo: Adam Griffith on Unsplash

 

Financial Obligation

The initial adoption fee of $50-$250 is just the beginning of the financial obligations of pet ownership. According to petfinder.com, you can expect to pay $395 the first year you own a dog and around $326 per year after that. These costs include things like a crate, dog bed, toys, leashes, collars, food, and routine visits to a veterinary clinic. They also estimate that your first year of cat ownership costs $405, and you can expect to spend $340 per year after that. Costs can soar upwards of $1000 if your pet requires major medical attention. If you break these costs down into monthly amounts, you’ll be spending about $27 a month per dog and $28 a month per cat. Sit down and look at your budget to make sure that you can afford $27-$28 a month, and that you have enough to cover initial costs of ownership and any emergencies that may arise.  

 

Time Management

Fur babies are adorable, but they are not self-sufficient. There is some debate as to how long is too long for a dog to be left in a kennel, but the general consensus is that 4-6 hours is long enough. Consider whether or not your schedule is flexible enough to allow you to stay home with a dog, or if you can come home during lunch breaks to take them out on walks. If you do not have enough time available for a dog, a cat might be a better pet choice as cats can be left alone for much longer periods of time.

 

Life Circumstances

Do you have a steady career? Are you still in college? Do you know where you will be living in the next five years? These are all important factors to think about. If you have settled into a relatively stable career that provides a schedule and a paycheck that will allow you to adopt a pet, then this could be a great time in your life to make that commitment! If you are still in college and do not know how the next few years of your life will play out, then you might want to hold off on getting a dor or cat. Moving pets long distances can be tricky as many airlines have strict pet policies and can charge up to $100 per animal if they do let them onboard. Many apartments do not allow animals, and others restrict the amount and breed of pets allowed. If you will be renting, count on paying a pet deposit of around $200, and a monthly pet fee of $50.

 

Commitment

Dogs and cats live about 10-15 years. If you are ready to meet the financial and time commitments of owning a pet, make sure that you are ready to do so for the next 10 years. Pet adoption is a wonderful process that benefits both the pets and the new owners. Just make sure that you fully understand the responsibilities involved before you impulsively take an adorable fur baby home with you.

 

Zianna is a graduate student at Arizona State University. She loves writing and plans to make a career out of this passion. She is a proud mother of her adopted pets, Harv the dog, and Barb the cat. When Zianna is not busy taking care of her fur babies you can find her at the movie theater, line dancing, traveling, or binge-watching reality tv.


 

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