Being a good pet owner takes careful research and planning. You should know that it requires more than providing adequate food, water and shelter. You should take your time before deciding to bring a cat or dog into your home. Potential pet owners should consider many things before bringing home a dog, cat or other small animal.
Having a pet is a long term commitment. You should plan for your pet to be with you for many years, so you must think carefully and seriously before choosing to become a pet owner. Pets bond deeply with their families and will become a member of your family. Adopting means making a life-long commitment which may last 10-15 years for a dog and perhaps 15-20 years for a cat.
You must be willing to care for this animal even when your life changes, such as when you redecorate your home, take a new job, perhaps move to a different city or decide on marriage and/or children. Your pet will also need to you look after its' health and safety. You must be prepared to see that your pet gets proper veterinary care, has food and fresh water, and toys and other items needed for their comfort and welfare. So before adopting a pet ask your self:
- Am I willing to care this pet for 10,15 or 20 years?
- Can I afford this pet? (After the adoption fee, costs will include; food, veterinary fees, leashes, collars, toys, food, etc.)
- Do I have to time for a pet?
- Is there time with work, family and children for a pet?
- Will your new pet be a family member, not a yard pet?
Choosing the right pet for your household takes careful thought. Not every dog or cat is right for every household. Consider such things as allergies of your family members, apartment restrictions and size of your home. Large animals may not be the right choice if you have small children. Small pets may be too delicate for active children. A large dog may need a big yard for exercise and play and wouldn't be a wise choice for an apartment dweller. Also, if your household already has a pet, consider how they will accept a new pet into the home. Before you adopt ask yourself:
- Is my house adaptable for a pet (apartment restrictions, yard, etc.)
- Is the pet I want to adopt the right size for my home?
- Does anyone in my household have any allergies?
- If I have children, am I selecting a pet that will do well with my children?
- If I have children, do my children know how to properly treat and care for a pet?
- If selecting a puppy or kitten, am I prepared to put up with young pet behavior? (puppy chewing, house training, kitten curtain climbing, etc.)
If you consider matters carefully, and choose a pet wisely you will be rewarded with years of happiness, companionship and unconditional love. Remember, this is not only your life, it is important to the pet you choose. They are looking for "forever" homes.