- Animals are a long-term commitment – your dog or cat might be with you for 10-20 years.
- If you are considering getting a single dog or cat, remember that many animals do not adjust well to solitude. Any animal that is constantly left alone can develop behavioral problems. Dogs
- particularly thrive on several hours of exercise and companionship every day.
- Having a pet is an ongoing expense. Include basic and emergency veterinary care, toys, supplies, and food in your estimated budget. Spaying and neutering is also essential for an animal’s long-term health and happiness.
- Choose a pet that suits your home and lifestyle. Problems such as allergies, apartment restrictions, or moving issues should be considered before adopting a new pet. Discuss your family’s likes and dislikes so you don’t accidentally come home with the wrong pet.
- Learn about dog and cat behavior. Basic training helps dog owners communicate better with their pets and strengthens the human-animal bond. Cats cannot be trained in the same way, but they can learn what behavior is and isn’t appropriate.
- Make sure your family is ready for the changes an animal will bring into your home. Puppies and kittens need a lot of attention and training. They require more attention than adult pets and do not remain small for long.
- If you are getting a pet for your child, do not expect the child to do all the work. No matter how mature your child is, you will need to provide supervision and act as a back-up.
- Learn about your prospective pet before adopting. Read books about pet care and visit with friends and family who have the type of pet you are considering. Training, vet visits, grooming, exercise, and feeding are all part of the ongoing responsibilities of caring for a pet.
- If you are ready to adopt, ensure that you are adopting an animal from a reputable source. No matter where your new pet comes from, his or her first trip should be to your vet for a meet-and-greet checkup.