Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Are you ready for a new pet?

Thinking of getting a puppy? Make sure you are ready for a pet before adopting one. Adopting a pet is a big commitment. If you fall under one of these categories, you may not be ready.

1. Your Lifestyle. If you work long hours or have a demanding job that requires for you to travel a lot, owning a dog may not be for you. They do require some attention and people who travel constantly or work extremely long hours will not usually be able to provide the attention it needs. Leaving your pet alone for an extended period of time will cause your pet to become bored and could cause it to become destructive.

2. Money. This is a huge factor in whether adopting a pet is right for you. The adoption fee is just the beginning of the financial commitment. Food is a necessity and a continuing cost. Depending on the breed you get, the food may not be as costly. But for larger breeds that require a lot more food, the costs can add up very quickly. Also, if living in an apartment complex or rented home, many landlords require a pet deposit. Some pet deposits can range from $200-$1000. You want to be sure you can fork up that kind of money for a new pet. Veterinary care is also a continuing cost. You must get your pet its shots to keep it healthy. There are other considerations as well, such as heartworm medication and flea & tick treatments.

3. In it for the long haul. Make sure before adopting a pet that you will be ready to care for it for many years. On average, dogs can live up to 10-15 years, although some have been known to live up to 20 years. So, if he tears up your beautiful furniture, will you still want him?

4. Poodle? Cocker Spaniel? If you don’t know what kind of breed to get, you might want to do some research to see which puppy will best fit with your lifestyle. This will help you to know what you are getting into before adopting. Do you want a lap dog or an active dog? There are many different breeds out there with a variety of temperaments. Find out which is best for you before making the commitment.

5. You want a pet NOW. Maybe you think your friend's dog is awfully cute and are dying for one of your own. Maybe you've fallen for a pleading pair of eyes and want to take home that particular dog or cat today. If you're not willing to wait at least a few days for the adoption process required by most shelters and rescue groups, you're probably acting too impulsively. Take some time to think. There's a life at stake.

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