You’re Making a Commitment for the Lifetime of the Animal
The American Humane Association estimates that dogs live for 12 to 15 years and that cats have a lifespan of 15 to 20 years. Of course, the breed of the animal and his overall health at adoption play into the average lifespan as well. The fuzzy kitten or rambunctious puppy you adopt today will eventually grow old. Pets require time and resources at every stage of the life cycle. Here are several factors the American Humane Association recommends that people consider before bringing home a new pet:
- Does anyone in your house have asthma or allergies that might be triggered by animal fur?
- What do you plan to do if a family member just doesn’t care for the pet?
- Do you anticipate major changes such as moving, a new job, having a baby, or getting married that could affect how well you can care for the pet?
- Are your finances stable enough to handle basic pet necessities as well as emergency care?
- Are you getting the pet for your kids? If so, do you consider them responsible enough to provide her with consistent care? If the answer is no, are you willing to provide the care yourself?
- Who will care for your pet when you go on vacation or need to travel for business?
- Will you commit to getting your pet spayed or neutered as well as keep up with required vaccinations?
- Does your family have such a busy schedule that your pet will end up spending a lot of time alone?
- Does someone in the family have enough time to provide the pet with the exercise and play time he needs?
- What kind of living arrangements do you have? A large German Shepherd needs plenty of outdoor space to run around while a senior cat would do just fine in a small apartment.
- Do you know how you would handle behavior problems?
Bring Your New Pet in for a Check-Up as Soon as Possible