Adopting a new pet: What should I know?Back to overview
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Have you already adopted a new pet or are thinking of doing so soon? Have you asked yourself the right questions? Adopting a new pet requires more of an investment than one might think. To help you ask the right questions, the following article lists five essential assets that a pet owner must have. After reading, ask yourself whether these characteristics describe your current profile. Is this really for you? We also suggest that you talk to an animal health professional before taking the big step. A vet can provide more info to help you choose whether or not to adopt.
Be present A pet is a member of the family. He should be treated like family. An owner’s presence is essential to a pet’s welfare. For this reason, the issue of time is important. Do you have time to be around for your pet? Do you have time to pay attention to it? Owners need to include their pets in their daily schedule. Furthermore, a puppy or kitten should not be left alone for longer than 4 hours. However, some situations prevent well-intentioned owners from spending enough time with their pet. For example, people who travel a lot or who are in the military or anyone else who has responsibilities away from home may have difficulty balancing work and a pet. You can, however, work around these circumstances with support from those close to you. So you need to ask yourself: will family and friends be able to help me when I’m away?
Be committed: Over and above just being around, pets are a commitment. This commitment is paramount. Owners need to provide their pets with everything necessary in terms of energy and involvement. Owners need to be devoted to their pets. Are you motivated enough to take your dog out every day for outdoor exercise? Are you prepared to groom your cat regularly? Do not hesitate to consult a vet to help you understand what adopting a pet entails. A vet can discuss the respective profiles of different animal breeds with you. Some breeds might be a better fit for your lifestyle.
Have sufficient financial resources: When you plan to adopt a pet, remember to consider whether you have the necessary financial resources to provide for her needs. Does the cost of having a cat or dog go beyond buying pet food? Absolutely, and in 2017 that cost may be considerable! Owners need to cover expenses related to health exams, vaccines, sterilization, city permits, dental care, insurance, toys, etc. Also, bear in mind that the bigger the dog, the higher the cost associated with his maintenance will be.
Provide a suitable environment: Every pet develops her own personality and every personality requires an environment adapted to her needs. Owners need to consider the environment that they will be sharing with their dog or cat. Is the space big enough? Does the space have all the necessary amenities? Pets will often be with their masters for over 10 years. A lot can change in 10 years! Be aware that you will need to enhance your pet’s environment to correspond with his needs. For example, providing your indoor cat with spots from which she can peer down from above, see outside, hide, etc. Being proactive is the best medicine for your pet’s welfare!
Be responsible: How can we define being responsible for a companion animal? Well, it is at the very heart of the relationship between you and your pet! Your pet’s welfare will always depend on your support and supervision. This responsibility is now even recognized by law in some part of Canada like Quebec. As a pet owner, you need to make sure you meet your pet’s basic needs and safety. Safety includes everything that may be dangerous or harmful for your pet. Did you leave chocolate lying around for your dog to gobble up? Did you forget to fill your pet’s water and food bowl before going away for a few hours or a few days? You will also be responsible for his welfare from the moment you adopt him to his final days. You will need to cover all necessary veterinary care in his old age as well as his youth.
And last but not least: You have to love your pet. Really love her. Adopting a pet because you find her cute is not true love. You will be able to make the right choice with an informed decision, preliminary research and true love for a pet that wins you over. If now is not the right time, tell yourself that it is only a matter of time!