While many people want to have pets to come home to and snuggle with each night, they’re not necessarily ready to get a pet. Animals are expensive and time-consuming commitments. They’re also long-term commitments. Dogs and cats can live up to fifteen years and sometimes more. Even smaller animals like rabbits can live for nearly a decade. There’s a lot to consider before you adopt a pet, but here are some signs you’re ready.
If you’re going to happy hours, sports leagues, or social groups for a few hours after work, you might not be ready to adopt a pet. Animals are happiest when they’re on a fairly consistent schedule. Plus, dogs will need to be let out and can’t be kept in the house for too long. If you like to come home after work and spend the evening at your house, you might be ready to get a pet.
You Have Extra Income
Pets can cost a lot of money. Even if you get a pet from a shelter and have the adoption fees waived, pets can still be expensive. Food, treats, toys, vet bills, litter, and replacing anything they may chew or scratch up. Make sure you have room in your budget to set aside for pet expenses before you bring an animal home, no matter how inexpensive the adoption fees are.
You Have Free Time
Pets take a lot of time. Dogs need regular walks, and the younger they are the longer or more frequently they’ll need to go. They also need to play and socialize with other dogs. Plus, dog training takes a lot of consistent effort. Cats also need socialization and play time, and lots of affection. Rabbits need time out of their cages to run and hop around. You need to make time in your day to play with and exercise your pet.
You’re Willing to Do the Dirty Work
When most people think about adopting a new pet, they think about playing, snuggling, and having lots of fun with their new furry friend. In reality, pets are a lot of work and it can sometimes get gross. Cats litter boxes need to be scooped and cleaned regularly. You’ll need to pick up dog poop when you’re out and you probably want to clean it up from your yard, too. Plus, you may have to deal with administering or applying medications that aren’t always pleasant tasks.
You’re Not Attached to Your Stuff
Small puppies and kittens have been known to chew or scratch up your things. Shoes, clothes, furniture, and more are at the mercy of your pet. Even older pets may ruin things if they’re scared, lonely, untrained, or have separation anxiety. Make sure to take the time to pet-proof your house and put away anything you don’t want destroyed by a playful or upset animal.
You Love Animals
If you meet all the criteria above, want to make the long-term commitment to an animal, and still love the idea of having a new pet, you’re ready to adopt!