Be sure you are ready to adopt
Adopting a pet can be a rich, rewarding experience that results in a lifetime of companionship, but having a pet isn't for everyone. Here are the top things to consider when adopting a pet.
1. Know what you’re getting into. Some breeds of cats and dogs can live up to 19 or 20 years. Be sure you’re ready to commit for the long term.
2. Consider your schedule. Pets require food, water, exercise, care and companionship every day, and you need to be sure you have that to give before you adopt.
3. Determine what you can afford. Pet costs go way beyond adoption fees, as there will be food bills, vet bills, and more.
4. Look at your space. If you live in a small apartment without a yard, for instance, then a big dog may be out of the question. And don't forget to review your lease for restrictions.
5. Consider whether this is a good time. If you’ve got a lot going on, such as a new baby in the home, then this may not be the best time to adopt a pet.
6. Research breeds. Look into what particular breeds may fit your lifestyle. Although chances are that you won’t find a purebred at the shelter, shelter operators are usually able to identify contributing breeds for most mixes.
7. Have a backup plan. Things sometimes happen unexpectedly, so it’s important to have a backup plan in place in case things change. Find someone willing to take on your pet if you end up needing to travel or become ill. This way, he won’t end up back at the shelter.