Pet Adoption- Being Properly Prepared
You’ve finally decided to make a furry addition to your family and you can’t wait! Playtime, warm cuddles, and lots of kisses are being looked forward to as they should be. You can’t wait to get started with your new pet, but are you properly prepared? Adopting a pet is more than just wanting a pet; it is about committing to a forever companion. Before jumping into the furry ownership role, it is extremely important to be ready to face many challenges along with the joys that accompany pet ownership.
Many individuals are aware of the upfront costs, but ignore the thought of future expenditures. Pets are not cheap and it is important that your financial situation can handle the expense of a pet. According to ASPCA, you should expect to pay around $1,300-$1,500 in your pet’s first year alone. Each year thereafter you should expect to pay at least $1,500, totaling about $20,000 in a pet’s lifetime. These costs cover the minimum cost of humane care including: food, water, routine vaccinations and exams, as well as other minor expenses. You should ask yourself some imperative questions before making a furry commitment.
Why do you want the pet? This is the first question you should ask yourself and this will help you determine what species and breed fits your lifestyle. Are you ready for a long-term commitment? Dogs, on average, live to be 10-15 years old and cats live to be around 20 years of age. It is like a marriage, if circumstances change you need to be willing and able to care for your pet.
Do you know what kind of pet is right for you? Your personality and lifestyle, along with the amount of space and time at home you have, will play a huge role. If you are not home often, perhaps a cat would be a better choice than a dog. Will you be able to spend quality time together? Being left alone for long periods of time is often accompanied by behavioral problems. Pets thrive with exercise and companionship, especially dogs.
Can you afford to care for your pet’s health and safety? Regular vaccinations greatly reduce risk of costly diseases. Are you prepared to deal with any health challenges your pet may have? Animals are prone to many of the same diseases we have, including cancer, allergies, diabetes, and many other medical issues. Are you willing to train your pet? Training your pet takes patience and time, but is well worth it. Proper basic training helps with communication between pet and owner.
Are you prepared to pet-proof your home? Hiding toxic foods and plants, purchasing tight-sealing garbage cans, and avoiding dangerous decorations are just a few household threats to your pet. Most importantly, is your family ready for a pet? If you have toddlers roaming the house, perhaps investing in a high-energy puppy is not in your best interest until your child ages more. Also, perhaps your other pets are not quite ready for another addition. You’ve completed the questioning process and have made your decision, now is the perfect time to prepare your home properly.
Get yourself off to a great start by placing multiple cozy beds throughout the house. This, along with not leaving your pet unsupervised, will ensure that your pet will be more likely to keep off of furniture. If keeping off furniture continues to be a problem, try double-sided tape or upside-down carpet runner on furniture. Dog crates are great for confining while gone; you can eventually ween your dog off the crate as their house manners improve. As you slowly let your dog take free range of the house, make sure to leave lots of permissible chew-toys around. Make sure to exercise your dog at least 30 minutes a day as well. For cats, place scratching posts & perches about to discourage scratching furniture.
Make sure to purchase place mats for food and water bowls to avoid messes. Do not use ammonia-based cleaners when cleaning up pet accidents. Although this gets rid of the smell for humans, pets can still smell the scent and can often be attracted to urinate in the same area again. Instead, use special enzymatic cleaner. You can find such cleaners at all major pet stores, a great product is Nature’s Miracle©. Grooming is an important way to keep your home clean as well. You will want to trim and file nails regularly to keep them from scratching furniture. Brushing your pet regularly removes dead skin and hair that would otherwise end up on your furniture and floors. Be sure to wipe your pet’s paws after returning inside and their mouth after eating as well. Now that you’re all ready to go get your pet, know that you are doing a great thing.
Adopting a pet is one of the best feelings in the world, you’re saving a life! According to ASPCA, approximately 7.6 million animals go into shelters each year and only 2.7 million of them (35%) are actually adopted. Around 649,000 are returne