Spring is here and so are all the adorable puppies and kittens. But before you let yourself fall in love, you need to ask yourself a few questions. When you get a cat, dog, puppy or kitten you are changing your life for the next 10 to 15 years. Change can be stressful, so think about the ramifications of adding that furry face to your household before you get a pet.
1. Money. Getting a pet costs money. Your new pet needs food and other dog or cat paraphenalia such as litter, leashes, collars, and toys. Taking your pet to the veterinarian costs more money. It’s unfair to the animal to deny him or her these basic needs. If you can’t afford the cost of routine upkeep and veterinary care, don’t get a pet.
2. Lifestyle. Honestly evaluate the environment you’d be bringing a pet into. Are you about to make any major life changes, such as having children, moving, marrying, or divorcing? Do you travel? Does your landlord permit pets? Are you away from home all day? (If so, are you willing to pay someone to take care of your pet while you are gone?) Do you have time to give a pet the attention it needs and train it? If you plan on getting a puppy, do you have the time and patience to deal with housebreaking? (You will have to clean up the inevitable accidents and take the puppy outside innumerable times.) Are you healthy? Are you allergic to pet hair? Do you demand a meticulously clean home? If you can’t meet the animal’s needs for any reason, don’t get a pet.
Millions of animals die in shelters every year because people did not take the time to ask themselves a few basic questions. A pet is not something that should be considered disposable. Like adopting a child, adopting a pet should be for life.