pet kitten

Questions to ask yourself before adopting a pet

Before you acquire a companion animal, ask yourself the following questions:

Why do I want a dog or a cat?

  • Guilt, nagging kids, and impulse decisions are not great reasons.

Do I have the time to devote to their care?

  • Puppies and kittens require lots of time to get them socialized and trained. Companion animals cannot just be ignored or left to fend for themselves when you find you are too busy, must travel, or work long hours.

Can I afford a dog or cat?

  • Initial veterinary care, including alteration (spay/neuter), vaccinations, heartworm test and preventative, could cost $150 to $200. Add in supplies such as a crate, collar, leash, toys, scratching posts, food and water dishes, and the price tag averages another $200 to $250. Annual costs include licensing, vaccinations, food, and litter.

Am I willing to handle the special problems that can go along with caring for a dog or cat?

  • Dogs and cats get fleas, fall ill occasionally, may be injured, or suffer genetic ailments. The treatments may be expensive and time-consuming.

Are my living arrangements suitable for a dog or cat?

  • Not all dogs are well suited to life in a small space and may require a fenced yard in which to run. Cats, on the other hand, adapt well to apartment life

I rent, are critters allowed?

  • Some landlords charge a pet deposit and/or a monthly pet fee and may have restrictions on the size and type of pet. Moving may pose new difficulties when you are committed to search for often hard-to-find pet-friendly rentals.

How will I handle care for my dog and/or cat while I travel?

  • Many pets do not travel well and may require you to find a kennel or a pet sitter while you are away. These services are often expensive and require planning several weeks before you leave.

Is my lifestyle conducive to responsible companion care?

  • High energy dogs require lots of exercise. If you are not the athletic type, choose a dog that is happy to spend the day on your lap. If you travel a lot, or work long hours, this may not be the time to get a companion animal.

Am I able and willing to commit to keeping and caring for this dog and/or cat for their entire life?

  • Depending upon breed, some dogs may live as long as 15 years. Indoor cats typically live 15-18 years.


City of Bloomington, IN
Last updated: Sept 14, 2009's quote of the day
"Cats seem to go on the principle that it never does any harm to ask for what you want."
-Joseph Wood Krutch

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