Sugarcube cute gray shorthair cat

Before You Adopt an Animal

Setting the stage for a successful adoption

Before you make the important decision to adopt, there are a few things to consider.

Do you have the time to care for an animal? What kind of time can you devote between work, travel and entertainment?

Different animals, even different breeds, require varying amounts of attention to be happy and healthy. This includes quality time with you, regular exercise and feedings as well as training and veterinary care.  

three pictures of content cats

We aim to adopt kittens in pairs for their best development, particularly if they’re siblings, or into homes with other resident animals present. This helps to teach them how to appropriately use their teeth and claws in play, as well as providing them companionship while you’re away from home.

Are your lifestyles compatible?

dogs running, playing and being petted

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?

older dogs and cats, some look sad

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 on their 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 its life.

Also, consider whether or not you plan to move 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.

Are you financially prepared for an animal?

cats and dogs attended to by vet

We all know the saying: There’s no such thing as a free animal! Are you prepared to take on that financial commitment? Being their guardian means that their necessary care is your responsibility – food, water, veterinary expenses, behavioral training, toys, treats, mental enrichment, etc. It can add up quickly! While there are no free services provided for veterinary care, there are many wonderful lower-cost clinics that can help with basic medical care, but it is wise to save annually or be financially stable should an emergency arise with your animal.

Will your new animal be a welcome addition to the family?

families interacting with pets

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? Do any family members have medical concerns that may end up causing you to look for a new home for the animal in a 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?

In the event that the animal may outlive you, is there a contingency plan set for your friend?

Sad dog looking up

We all love our animals like family, and part of being their caregiver is providing them security in the event that the animal outlives you or that a lifestyle change occurs and you can no longer care for your animal. Do you have family or trusted friends with whom your animal can live? If temporary care is needed, boarding your animal may also be an option but can be costly, so it is advised that you consider your options for the well-being of your beloved friend.

Research the animal of your choice before making a final decision. You and your new friend will be glad you did!