Things to consider when adopting a pet

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Things to consider when adopting a pet

Pets not only offer friendship and comfort, but they also offer health benefits. According to the CDC, having pets lowers blood pressure, reduces stress, and helps fight loneliness. Many people with pets also experience an increase in their physical condition and socialization. Adopting a pet has the added benefit of providing a home for an animal in need.

“Animals are such lovely friends. They don’t ask any questions; they don’t pass any criticism, ”according to novelist George Eliot. Perhaps their simple companionship is the reason the adoption of rescue animals saw a significant increase during COVID-19. Time magazine even named the rescue animals as the 2020 Pet of the Year.

While adopting a pet is noble, there are many factors to consider and pet ownership should not be taken lightly. Pets are a serious undertaking and require both care and love. Do you have the right space? Do you have the time? Is everyone in your family on board? How much can you afford to spend on a new pet? These are just a few questions you should ask before bringing a four-legged friend home.

ManyPets has compiled a list of nine things to consider when adopting a pet using information from various animal organizations.

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Don’t rush into things

Doing your research is important and will help you make the right decision about adopting a pet. Answering questions about the type of animal you want, and can be cared for in a reasonable and responsible manner, is essential and avoids rash decisions that could result in an animal returning to the shelter. It is estimated that between 7% and 20% of pets are returned to shelters within six months of adoption. More often than not, it doesn’t happen because there is something wrong with the animal, but because the animal is bad for the specific person who adopted it. This can be due to a variety of reasons, including the temperament of pets and allergies, many of which could have been avoided with initial and careful examination. While it’s easy to rush home to bring the first cute animal home, it’s best to wait and know the decision is well considered. Considering age and, especially for dogs, breeds is an important step: Dogs like huskies need a lot of exercise, while dogs like pugs need very little.

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Consider which animal best suits your lifestyle

Do you want a dog to hike or jog with? Maybe you prefer a cat that naps on your lap while you work from home. Taking an inventory of things like hobbies, interests, family structure, and work schedule is an important way to assess which pet will work best for you. If you are a single person who enjoys going out, your needs may be different than someone with a family who spends weekends at home. If there is another animal in the house, this is another important lifestyle consideration. Every aspect of living conditions must be taken into account in this decision. For example, young children may be run over by a large, energetic dog, and guinea pigs may be more ideal for apartment living because they don’t need open space to play.

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Cats should not be declawed

Years ago, declawing cats was a common practice for cat owners who feared cats would scratch furniture and rugs. According to the Humane Society, declawing cats hurts them and can have several side effects, including increased biting behaviors and resistance to using litter boxes. It can also lead to risks to the cat’s physical health, including infection and lameness. Several countries and US cities and states have banned declawing. Pet owners need to understand the reasons for scratching (to stretch muscles and mark territory), and they need to work with their cats to train them to use scratching posts and to have their nails cut when they start scratching. . Nail guards have become a popular solution for cat owners to reduce scratching.

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When adopting a pet, think about finances

There are annual veterinary vaccinations, spaying or neutering, monthly heartworm and flea preventative medications, and other expenses like grooming, doggy day care, and food to budget for. Pets also need toys to stimulate themselves and prevent boredom, as well as items like beds, crates, litter, cages, and leashes. These expenses can add up over months and years. Pets also often get sick and require surgery or medication, although pet insurance is available to cover many of these costs, and the investment can be worth it, but the monthly premium must be included in your pet’s budget. The first year of owning a pet alone can cost anywhere from $ 1,500 to $ 2,000. Some humanitarian companies and veterinary clinics offer low-cost sterilization and sterilization options, as well as medical services. They may also offer free or discounted pet food, recognizing the sometimes prohibitive costs of pet ownership that can be an accessibility barrier for potential pet owners.

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Animals need time and training

Depending on the age of the animal and its previous living conditions, your new animal may require training, which takes both time and money. It costs around $ 50 an hour to train a dog, which is the national average. This cost does not include the time it will take and the level of commitment. Working with your pet at home on the training techniques learned is important to consolidate any new skills learned. While training is not necessary, it is often the key to a happy and well-behaved pet. The benefits are numerous and include a safer pet and home, opportunities for the owner and the pet, and enjoyable experiences for your pet in public spaces like the vet or the park.

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Holidays and outings will be more difficult

Depending on the animal you have, taking a vacation and going out after work will require additional planning. Of course, both will always be possible, but dogs need walks and companionship, and cats, fish, or rodents, while much more independent, need fresh food and water. This requires finding someone to take care of your pet while you are away or if you work long hours and then go out to dinner or go to the gym. Day care and boarding are an option for dogs and cats, but it can be expensive and should be factored into your monthly or annual budget for your pet. Of course, many hotels and resorts and even restaurants are pet-friendly, and taking your pet with you may be an option worth exploring.

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Be ready for reality, not fantasy

Many dream of owning a pet: imagining the perfect cat or dog riding in the back of the car for downtown adventures. Instead, someone may end up adopting a cat who likes to sit on the other end of the couch or a dog who gets sick in the car. It’s important to remember that owning a pet may not live up to any fantasy you envision. Pets, just like humans, each have their own unique personalities, and the reality is that your pet may be different than the one you dreamed of, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be the animal. perfect companion for you. Sometimes the reality is better than the fantasy.

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Protecting pets in your home is essential

In the months before a baby returns home or before a toddler begins to walk, parents childproof their homes, fit cabinets with locks, and ward off dangers. Preparing for pets requires the same securing your home. It can be as simple as installing a dog gate to keep your new pet away from a certain part of the house, or making sure there are no overhead wires the cat can access. Being aware of what is safe for your pet in terms of food, plants, and other chemicals that may be in your home is vital for your pet’s safety. Even gum, rubber bands, and ibuprofen are threats. Dogs are allergic to grapes and chocolate, and cats and dogs can have life-threatening reactions to some plants, requiring a thorough sweep of your garden and looking for potential problems with houseplants.

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Sterilization or sterilization should be a consideration

Spaying and neutering pets can have health benefits. A study from the University of Georgia found that life expectancy was longer for spayed and neutered dogs. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) supports the sterilization and neutering of pets and considers it part of responsible pet ownership. Spaying and neutering help reduce pet overpopulation. AVMA also discusses the risks associated with sterilization, including certain types of cancer and urinary incontinence. Unexpected pregnancy can also result in unexpected veterinary costs and the extra time and money needed to care for newborn animals.

This story originally appeared on ManyPets
and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.


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