If you’re pet obsessed like me, then you probably spend the majority of your day scrolling Instagram for cute pictures of dogs. With each scroll, you imagine how much better life would be with a puppy, and you resolve to make it be so. And yet, as we all know, there are so many things to consider before getting a pet. So let’s put down our phones, log out of PetFinder.com, and review.
After all, this is a big responsibility we’re talking about. Unless you’re daydreaming about the perfect pet goldfish (which still needs care and attention), your entire life will change the moment you bring home a pet. “Pet adoption is certainly a major step — and a long-term one,” says Alison M. Jiménez, director of media and communications at ASPCA, in an email to Bustle. “Most pets can live upwards of 15-20 years (depending on species and health conditions), meaning this pet will be around for a long time.”
Of course that’s a good thing, and yet the huge lifestyle change should make you take pause before adopting a pet. Will you have the time? Do you have the space? These are all questions to ask yourself before marching off to adoption day at your local animal shelter. And below are a few more things to consider to ensure you’re bringing a dog or cat into the best possible situation — for you and them.
1. Why Do You Want A Pet?
First things first, let’s talk about why you want a pet. This deep question might not cross your brain as you stare into the big, shiny eyes of an adorable puppy. But you really should take some time to soul search before adopting one. Are you lonely? Do you crave responsibility? Do you want to save an abandoned animal? Getting a pet is a big commitment, so figuring out why you want to do it is the best place to start.
2. Which Breed Will Fit Your Lifestyle?
Sometimes it’s necessary to burst your own bubble, and realize that a certain pet will never be right for you. For example, the great dane of your dreams won’t work if you, say, live in a 200-square-foot apartment. “Fortunately, most shelters and rescue groups are excellent at match-making when it comes to finding adopters the best pet that fits their lifestyle,” Jiménez says. “They will ask you questions about your schedule, activity level and hobbies and what you’re looking for in a pet, so that ultimately they can match you up with a pet that best matches your lifestyle and expectations.”https://fa5ff421ba6a6705ef7c0ab36c6a0217.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
3. How Much Spare Time Do You Have?
Sure, maybe a goldfish doesn’t need as much attention as a puppy, but everything obviously requires care. “Dogs, cats and other companion animals cannot be ignored just because you … are too tired or too busy,” noted an article on SSPCA.org. “They require food, water, exercise, care, and companionship every day of the year.” Just something to consider when you are choosing which pet is right for you.