Adopting a Pet? Here’s What to Keep in Mind

Getting a pet is one of the happiest moments we can have in life. The thought of having someone to play with, someone to give and receive affection to, and having a life companion can be exciting. 

If you decide to adopt a pet, whether it is planned or spur of the moment, there are many things to consider. If you have any questions in mind, here are a couple of things you need to keep in mind before you become a pet parent. 

Are You Financially Capable To Take Care Of a Pet?

Having a pet is like having a child. Even if you choose to adopt, there are still expenses that you need to clear. You need to have them microchipped, spayed or neutered, vaccinations, and regular vet visits. Moreover, you will have monthly expenses from food, grooming, toys, and other miscellaneous stuff. It can be challenging if you are not financially capable because there will be unexpected expenses, and you have to be ready to shed at least an extra hundred dollars monthly.

It will be unfair for your pet if you don’t give them all of their essential needs. We are sure that you don’t want your negligence to harm your pet. So before you adopt a new pet, ensure that you can provide for them. 

Brief Information On How Much Does It Actually Costs To Have A Pet

While you may think that it is just about $20 per month, the expenses can go up to $150 and more per month. Moreover, these expenses are not just one time off. The only one time cost that you need to prepare is the shelter and adoption cost. But most will be these recurring expenses that you will bear for a long time.  

Food – there are breed and age-specific food formulas. Most of the pet food, such as dog or cat food, can cost you $40 to $60, depending on the frequency and amount you give. 

Grooming – the standard grooming can average between $30 and $90. This will still vary from the type of pet you have and additional services such as teeth cleaning, nail clipping, and flea treatments. 

Toys and Other Miscellaneous – toys, treats, and poop bags are other main expenses that you need to allot money for. 

Will You Be Patient With Them?

Although you have a choice when you are adopting, you are most likely to get older pets, young ones, or pets with issues that you need to deal with. The pet experts on https://petsumer.com explained that every pet and every breed has different needs with everything. May it be food, harnesses, or even their hair brushes! You’ll need a lot of patience in house training them, feeding them, and addressing their problems. Moreover, you need to be patient when training them on basic stuff, which is a very daunting task. 

The Benefits of Training Your Pet

House training your pet or training them basic obedience commands will make it easier for both of you. They will do things you do so they will be better at communicating, and your pet can be around your friends and family safely. Animals are intelligent species, and they love to learn new things.  

How do pets learn?

No matter what pet you have, cat, dog, bird, turtles, or hamsters, their training should be reward-based. By giving them something, they want when they follow what you want them to do, they will most likely do it over and over again. For the training to be more effective, find something your pet enjoys. The better the reward, the more your dog can follow you and learn. 

Top training tips

  • Keep the training area distraction-free and ensure that both of you have a sole focus on each other.
  • Take breaks in between training sessions to avoid pets being bored.
  • Repeat and repeat until they finally get the command, task, or trick you are teaching. It is best to focus on one thing before moving on to another.
  • Make sure to incorporate fun into the training.
  • Be patient! Every pet learns in different phases, so you have to accept that and just a lot more of your time to teach your pet. 

In some cases, people return their adopted pets to the shelter when some issues arise. This will cause more harm to the dog than help. Don’t adopt a pet if you can not be patient with them. Just bear in mind that the hard times will be just the start, after that you will get a lovely companion that will be there for you for a long time giving you unconditional love. 

Do You Have Enough Time?

Same as being patient, you also need to allot a considerable amount of time for your newly adopted pet. They are not just a toy that you give time and attention to when it is convenient for you or when you are bored. Your pet’s world will revolve around you, and they will be solely dependent on you.

Think about your working hours, traveling schedule, and even your social life. Even a low maintenance pet like birds or turtles will need you too. If you are mostly outdoors or busy, then it will not be a good time to bring a new pet home. 

Is Your House Appropriate And Safe?

Before you bring your new baby home, check if their new environment will be appropriate and safe for them. Your pets will spend their whole lives in your house, so you have to ensure that it is suitable for them (size-wise, weather-wise, and safety level). To give you a better example, it will not be a good idea to put a Siberian Husky in a studio apartment without proper ventilation or put five fishes in a small fishbowl. Also, ensure that they are living in a clean and stress-free environment. 

Ways To Keep Your New Pet Comfortable At Home

Give Them Time and Space

Give your pet time and space when they arrive at your house. By doing this, you are giving them the freedom to be familiarized with the new surrounding. Like humans, pets can get stressed too while in a new, unfamiliar environment.

Start Establishing Routine

After your pet is familiar with your house, introduce how you and the people in your house function. Some routine you can start is feeding time, potty break, walking to the park, and even your work hours. They will adjust to your routine eventually, and it will be easier to have them around. 

Introduce Other Pet Housemates

If you have more and different pets in the same household, introduce them gradually to avoid any conflict between them. Pets have a tendency to be territorial to anyone new. Look for signs of aggression or stress. More importantly, make sure that they receive equal love and attention to avoid behavior problems.

Will Your Lifestyle and Future Allow You To Have a Pet?

Look at your lifestyle and see if it permits you to have a pet. Animals like cats and hamsters are low maintenance and can be great for people who work long hours. Dogs, birds, and fishes, on the other hand, are high maintenance, which is just suitable for people who have plenty of hours to spare. If you are frequently outside, think about how you will take care of your pet. 

Also, think about your plans for the future. Will you settle and have a family? Fly to another country? Move back to your parents or go to a college dormitory? You have to include your pet as one of the considerations when you make a plan. It would be unfair for them just to be left alone, bring back to the shelter, or give away to your relatives.  

The Bottom Line

Adopting a pet is just as equally hard as having a newborn baby. It is not just something like a spur of the moment decision like you want a toy or craving food. It would help if you took the time to make decisions to avoid any mistakes. Moreover, look for a reputable shelter that doesn’t put the animals at risk. Be careful of illegal breeders who ask for a “donation” in exchange for the pet. Lastly, if you couldn’t afford a pet or you are not quite ready, but you have a lot to give to these animals, you can opt into donating. By donating to these organizations, you will give these pets food to eat, shelter to live in, and a brighter future. 

Having a new pet can be overwhelming, but the amount of love and attention that you will get from them will make it all worth it. If you can give them their needs, your time, and can be patient enough with them, then you can say that you are ready for a new companion! As Mahatma Gandhi said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

Tim Hanson (77)

Contributing writer at Preferable Pups!