Pets are such a tempting part of life. You see a stray on the street. You walk by an adoption or rescue shelter. You go with a friend to pick up pet food and see the cats in the window. There are so many opportunities to see animals that need homes, but before you act on a whim, take these things into consideration.
Before going out on a pet hunt, make sure you are allowed to have them. Take a look at your lease. It will have very defined rules about their pet policy. Some apartments may only allow cats, some may allow two animals, some may have weight restrictions, while other apartments may have no restrictions or not allow pets at all. It’s very important to know this before committing to an animal.
- Can you afford an animal?
There are many costs to adopting an animal. First, is there an adoption fee? Does your apartment charge a fee? Probably. Most apartments charge a non-refundable pet deposit and an added cost to your rent each month for having a pet. These are just the costs to get your pet home. You need to consider regular food and healthcare costs, as well as any emergency vet costs that may come up.
- Do you have space?
If you’re considering getting a pet, you might as well consider it as a new roommate… that will fully depend on you. You aren’t just needing room for this animal in your space, but you’re needing room for any toys, beds, crates, food, etc. Pets come with a lot of unexpected baggage that you’ll need to find room for, not to mention the space you’ll need for them to play. If you’re thinking of getting a bigger dog, a small apartment probably isn’t best.
Depending on the age and type of your pet, they will require different amounts of time. All pets will require the basic time commitments of feeding them, giving them water, playing with them, and grooming them. If you get a cat, you’ll have litter box duty. If you get a dog, you’ll have to take them outside multiple times a day to go to the restroom. If your pet is a baby when you get them, more time will go into each of these tasks as you train them – possibly if they’re old as well, because they may have never been trained.
Yes, right now while staring at that cute kitten or puppy in the face you are SURE you’ll be able to take care of it. But make sure you consider long term. What if you move? You will need to find a pet friendly place. What if you lose your job? You will need to be able to still provide for both of you. There are many things to consider down the road. Getting a pet, while fun, is a lifetime commitment. It needs to be a thought out decision. You are adding someone to your family that is going to love you for their entire lifetime. Pay them back by making sure you’re ready to love them for that lifetime.
Have you adopted a pet before? We want to hear your stories!