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10 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Adopting a Pet

Adopting a new pet is exciting—but it may not always be the best idea. Before informing your neighbor that your household has a new member, evaluate whether it is right for your home. Here are 10 questions you should ask yourself before adopting a pet.

1. What is Your Motivation for Adopting a New Pet?

Adopting a pet is like any other major purchase—you wouldn't buy something solely for having it. You will often purchase an animal requiring care, attention, training, and regular veterinary visits. Whether you have a specific need for an animal in your life or want to fill your home with love, adopt from a shelter, not from (or only through) a private breeder.

2. What is Your Lifestyle Like?

Does your lifestyle allow you time each day to care for your pet? Do you have a fenced yard or a safe, quiet place to walk your dog daily? The first thing that everyone tells a new pet owner is that pets are a lot of work. If you have the time and ability to care for a pet, then adopting a new furry companion can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience.

3. Are You Prepared for Potential Problems?

Pets, like any other living being, have needs that you must meet. Before adopting an animal, you need to know that you can fulfill those needs or find someone who can. For example, if you have a dog, you must ensure that it has a safe and secure place to run and play and time to get plenty of physical exercise.

4. What Are Your Financial Limits?

Adopting a pet is more than just a way to bring a new member into your home. It also requires time, money, and effort on your part. Before committing to the adoption, you need to know that you can afford it. You may need to purchase food and other supplies for your pet, clip its nails, take it for regular check-ups, or even provide veterinary care.

5. How Will You Prepare for Your Pet Getting Older

Asking yourself the question of how well you prepare for your pet's aging is very important. Your pet will not stay young and small forever. As your pet ages they might suffer from an illness or injury that will not heal, it may be kindest to have him, or her put down. For example, at-home euthanasia in Philadelphia is viable if putting them down is your only choice because it will provide your pet with a peaceful end-of-life experience. Whether or not you can make this decision for yourself depends on your pet type. If you adopt a dog that has been mistreated and abused by its previous owner, you may feel obligated to keep it safe – no matter the cost.

6. What Are Your Long-Term Plans for Adopting a Pet?

It would help to consider where you see yourself and your new pet in the next six or 12 months. If you are trying to fill a void left by the loss of a family member, for example, it may not be best to adopt a long-lived animal like a dog or cat.

7. Do You Have the Necessary Space to Adopt an Animal?

If you already have a large family, you may not have much extra space in your home. If so, you will need to consider whether or not you can (or want to) make room for a new member. It is also important that any animal adopted has enough room to move about freely and get enough exercise throughout the day.

8. How Much Time Can You Spend with Your New Pet?

Before you adopt an animal, you should think about your schedule. Even the sweetest, well-behaved animals can become destructive or overly energetic when left alone for too long. Spending quality time with your new pet may not be easy if you work full-time and have other daily obligations.

9. Do You Plan on Having More Children?

With some exceptions, children under 10 should not be responsible for caring for pets. Adopting a new family member may not be ideal if you plan on adding to your family in the next few years.

10. Is Your Neighborhood and Home Safe for Pets?

Before adopting a pet from a shelter, check out your neighborhood and home to see what potential dangers may exist there. For example, you may not want to adopt a dog if you have a usually uncovered pool.

In addition to these questions, it is wise to ensure your pet is spayed or neutered before bringing it home

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