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"Surprising" someone with the gift of a pet may sound like a good idea, but it doesn't always work out. Pet ownership requires commitment and cooperation from the whole family.
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This is a question that few people take the time to seriously consider. Adopting a pet because it's "the thing to do" or because the kids have been begging you for a pet usually ends up being a big mistake. Make certain that you and your family are prepared to make a lifetime commitment to an animal...and remember that commitment may last longer than 15 years. Okay.
What kind of lifestyle do you lead? Do you travel frequently or work late hours? Dogs, cats and other pets cannot be ignored just because you're tired or busy. Many animals are in the shelter because their owners didn't realize how much time it took to properly care for them.
Before adopting, seriously consider whether you have the time to provide for the health of your new pet or the patience to raise a new puppy or kitten.
The costs of pet ownership can exceed $500 per year. Expenses can up quickly for items like:
Do you have the time and patience to cope with potential problems? A few of the problems you might encounter with a pet include:
Check your lease for restrictions and be certain you have landlord approval before you bring a pet home.
Think about the type and size of pet you are considering. Can you comfortably accommodate the pet in your living space? Can you provide the pet adequate shelter from the heat and the cold?
If you have young children (under six years old), you might consider waiting a few years before you adopt a pet. Children should be mature enough to be responsible for and respectful of your new pet.
If you're a student, in the military, or a frequent traveler, consider waiting until you settle down before bringing a pet into your life.