Before You Adopt an Animal...
Think about these things to be sure you are prepared to take care of a furry friend for life:
Do you have the time to care for your friend properly?
Different animals, even dependent upon the breed, require certain kinds and amounts of attention to be happy and healthy. Your friend will need quality time with you, regular exercise and feedings as well as training and veterinary care. Will you have the time necessary to devote to this animal, or are you busy with work, travel and entertainment?
Are your lifestyles compatible?
Animals, like humans, have their own temperaments. Consider finding a companion who enjoys living the way you do. Do you enjoy being out and about or relaxing at home? Do you prefer keeping busy at all times or enjoying the quiet? It's best to adopt an animal that enjoys the same type of lifestyle that you do...that way you won't end up looking to re-home your furry friend because "it wasn't a good match."
Can you care for your friend for a lifetime?
Animals have different life expectancies. Think about how long your furry friend will be with you. For example, cats have an average lifespan of 14-20 years depending upon her health and lifestyle. Dogs may live for 10-20 years depending upon the breed, size and health. Research average lifespans and truly consider whether you are able to make a commitment to this animal for the rest of it's life.
Also, consider whether or not you plan on moving in the near future. If so, will you be committed to taking your companion animal with you? If you will be moving to an apartment, many places have limitations on the animals they allow, if they allow them at all. Start researching months before you will need to move to ensure you can take your companion with you. Re-homing a family member just because you have to move should never be an option.
Will your new animal be a welcome addition to the family?
Be sure to consider the entire family, especially other companion animals, when thinking of adding that special someone. Will everyone welcome the animal and be happy with the decision? Does any family member have medical concerns that may end up causing you to look for a new home for the animal in another year or two (for example, allergies or asthma)? Will all family members be committed to taking care of the animal and accept him or her as a family member, not property?