We’re so happy that you’re looking to adopt a dog or cat! Keep in mind that it is a lifelong commitment, so please consider the following before you take that step. Our goal is not to deter you from adopting, but to pose some questions for you to consider in advance. We have found that by doing this with prospective adopters, it helps reduce the number of pets that are returned by by well-meaning adopters who didn’t thoroughly think through what it takes to own a pet.
Why do you want a pet?
Are you looking for a companion to join you on your morning run? Do you want someone to cuddle with while you watch your favorite shows? Your answers can help us find you find a pet that will be a good match for your lifestyle and hopefully avoid an incompatible pairing.
Are you allowed to have pets where you live?
If you are allowed to have pets, have you told your landlord that you’re looking to adopt? If you rent, are you planning to move anytime soon? It can be more of a challenge or more restricting to find a place that allows pets, so if you are planning on moving in the near future, it is a good idea to wait until you are in your new, pet-friendly home before adopting. Further, it will be less stressful for your pet to adjust to only one new home.
Do you have enough time for a pet?
This is especially important for dogs or puppies. If you are not home very much, you may want to consider adopting an adult cat that will be able to adjust to your busy schedule, as opposed to a high-energy dog that will eat your sofa if it doesn’t get its daily hike.
Can I afford a pet?
Animals require food, annual vaccinations, and vet exam—for starters. On average, its costs $400 to $2,500 per year to provide basic food, routine vet care, and supplies for a dog, excluding grooming, boarding, and emergency health care. For cats, the annual cost can run from $200 to $700. Depending on the age and breed of the animal, you may be looking at around 15 years of expenses.
Who will be responsible to care for the animal?
Have you determined who will exercise, feed, groom, and clean up after your pet? Will you be able to get your pet to the vet every year and as-needed for the rest of its life? If you are a parent trying to teach your children responsibility, we applaud you, but keep in mind, there is a good chance YOU will be the primary caregiver.
Is your family ready?
Is everyone in your household on board with the adoption? If you live alone, do you have the time and finances? Does anyone have allergies to pets?