Pets 101

What to know before you adopt

Couple at animal shelterBe prepared when making the important decision to welcome a furry friend to the family. 10 questions to ask for a successful adoption:

1. Why do you want a pet? Figuring this out may be the most important step. Do you want a running buddy? A couch potato pal? A companion animal should match your activity level.

2. Are you ready for a 10-15 year commitment? You will be providing everything for this four-legged family-member for more than a decade. Make sure you are up for that.

3. Do you have the time necessary to spend with your pet? If you are away from home more than you are there, your pet’s mood or behavior may suffer. Animals get lonely just like people do!

4. Can you afford to provide for another life? Pets require food, toys, veterinary care, and other supplies, i.e. cage, litter box, etc. See TailsInc.com/TailsTips for a breakdown of how much specific animals cost per year.

5. How will you care for your pet when you are away? Do you have a neighbor or friend you can rely on? Can you afford a dog walker or cat sitter? What will you do when you go out-of-town?

6. Am I a dog person? Cat person? Rabbit? Goldfish? Be honest. You may want to start small to test the “responsibility waters.”

7. Are you prepared to know what your pet needs medically? Yearly checkups and vaccinations are a must. Add to that potential food allergies, injuries, chronic illnesses, accidents, etc. and there is a lot to think about.

8. Are you willing to put in the time to train your pet? This is no easy task. Your pet must be taught how to do everything you want her to do. Housebreaking is probably number one on the list, and takes patience, consistency, and lots of paper towels!

9. Are you prepared to make sacrifices for your pet? Just like with human kids, there are times you must put your pet’s needs above your own. Even if you are not a morning person, your dog may need to pee at 5am, everyday.

10. Is your living space pet-proof and adequate to house a pet? 
A tiny apartment may not the ideal environment for a 100-pound energetic Lab. Think about the exercise, space, and emotional needs of the animal choose.

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