You’re thinking about giving a forever home to a new furry friend. Maybe you’ve already been to the shelter or seen an Instagram post and fallen head-over-heels for a puppy, kitten, or mature animal in need of some love.
What our parents used to tell us, when we begged for a puppy or hamster or goldfish, is true: having a pet is a lot of responsibility. Just like in our human relationships, we have to make time, listen, compromise, and have plenty of patience.
Animals love unconditionally, and they bring so much joy to our lives. But, there’s much more to bringing home a new pet than just playing and snuggling and taking selfies. Do you have the time your new pet will require? Are your living arrangements conducive to an animal? Are you committed for the long haul?
Let’s take a look at some key considerations to keep in mind when adopting a furry pal.
From puppies to potbelly pigs, chameleons to canaries, pets need quality time with you.
Do you have the time necessary to devote to a new pet? How demanding are your work hours? Do you travel for work?
All animals need time with you — puppies and kittens, especially. You need time to train your dog, and to get your cat accustomed to new living quarters. Puppies need guidance, and one of the main reasons dogs and other animals damage furniture, floors and doors is because they feel separation anxiety.
Make sure you have the time necessary to care for your pet and to provide adequate companionship.
2. Living Arrangements
Your living space is vitally important. Why? Because it’s your pet’s living space, too!
Do you live in an apartment, or a house with a yard, or a condo with strict HOA guidelines? Do you have roommates, or live with a large family in a small space? Are you close to animal-friendly outdoor spaces for exercise and fresh air?
A Saint Bernard probably won’t be happy in a micro apartment or a tiny house, and a terrier with a barking obsession won’t win you many friends in a building with thin walls.
The first consideration is whether you’re allowed to have a pet in your living space and, if so, are there restrictions on the types of animals you can have.
Also, is the pet you’re considering really appropriate for your living situation? Will they be restless? Will tails knock over vases, will cats have nowhere cozy and dark to hide?
In addition to this, you’ll want to consult with the shelter and your veterinarian, because some large animals do great in small spaces, and some small animals need more room than you’d expect.
Adoption is a commitment to the entire lifespan of your pet. For that fur baby, this is a lifelong relationship. Are you ready for that?
Can you walk your dog as much as they need? Scoop the litter box regularly? Make regular veterinary appointments and be willing to sit up at night, cleaning up after a sick pet?
The fantasy of pet ownership is far from the reality. Yes, our animals provide love, joy, and excitement. They’re also exasperating, sometimes inconvenient, and possessive.
They require food, exercise, and attention. They can’t talk to tell you where it hurts or why they’re barking or why they’ve stopped eating.
The adjustment period after first bringing a new pet home can be a commitment trial by fire, and many people are tempted to give up after a few long nights or chewed shoes.
An integral part of commitment to your pet is commitment to its care. You’ll want to make sure you have a veterinarian lined up before you’ve completed the adoption. Often, the shelter where you adopt will have recommendations.
From the outset, there will probably be vaccinations and spaying/neutering to plan for. Also, you need to plan on how to properly identify and register your animal. Microchipping and collar tags make it possible to identify and return a pet that may have gotten lost.
Remember that your pet’s care is holistic. Cats and dogs need dental care just like you do. Certain breeds of both dogs and cats are prone to certain conditions, including joint problems, kidney disease, and even leukemia.
Some animals have special needs, and all animals will need extra care as they age. One thing that affects dogs and cats as they get older is dried, irritated skin — particularly on the paw pads and nose. Keep a soothing, moisturizing CBD Pet Balm on hand to ease that discomfort and prevent further irritation and infection.
As your relationship with your pet deepens, don’t be afraid to shop around for the right vet to make sure you have the right fit.
Care is also about providing nutritious food and exercise. A healthy diet will provide all the vitamins and minerals an average pet needs. Pets with anxiety may require extra medication, attention and supplements like CBD, chamomile and valerian.
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve told my cat to get a job, I’d probably live on my own private island.
There’s no such thing as a free lunch or a free vet visit. Nutritious food, healthcare, training, boarding, pet sitters, toys … it all adds up.
We need to consider our current and future financial needs when adopting a pet. Are you prepared for unexpected costs, like emergency room visits, medicine and surgery? Pet insurance is a thing, believe it or not, and it can be a literal and financial lifesaver in an emergency.
The Benefits Outweigh the Costs
Commitment, cost, and lifestyle adjustments are major considerations and can seem intimidating. But, the happiness, love and improved quality of life that animals give us more than outweighs any inconvenience or concerns.
Humans have kept pets for tens of thousands of years, so there’s no cause for worry. Once you make sure you and your pet are well-matched, everything else will come naturally.
The key is to make sure you can provide a home where your pet can be healthy, safe, and happy.
Don’t forget our CBD products for pets! They’re the perfect way to help stressed and sore furry friends.