"A good dog never dies. He always stays. He walks besides
you on crisp autumn days when frost is on the fields and
winter's drawing near. His head is within our hand in his
old way." (Mary Carolyn Davies)
"Never feed your cat anything that clashes with the
carpet." (Source Unknown)
CHOOSING THE RIGHT PET FOR YOUR LIFESTYLE
Animal shelters and rescue organizations are filled with
pets who have been turned in by their owners because of
lifestyle issues: the dog requires too much attention or
too much exercise, the cat needs regular grooming that
they don't want to deal with, and so on.
Adopting a new pet is both exciting and rewarding ... and
it should be a life-long commitment. Before you choose a
new pet, consider how it will fit into your lifestyle.
- How active are you? If your family enjoys regular long-
distance hiking or walking, look for an active breed
dog that you'll be able to take with you. If you prefer
to relax at home or you only like brief walks, a cat or
a dog with low exercise needs will better suit you.
- How much time can you devote to a pet? Dogs undeniably
require more time and attention than cats do.
- Can you afford to care for a pet? Pets come with a
financial responsibility such as food, training,
veterinary bills, grooming, boarding fees, and more.
- What size of pet is appropriate? Is your home, yard,
and car big enough to accommodate a large-breed dog?
Are you able to physically handle a large dog? Do
you have any physical conditions that may prevent
you from exercising or caring for a pet?
- What length of coat can you care for? Long-haired dogs
and cats will require regular grooming to keep the coat
healthy and tangle-free. If you don't have the time or
the inclination to do this yourself, then factor in
the time it takes to transport your pet to a groomer
as well as the additional expense.
- How often do you travel? If you travel often, this may
not be the right time to adopt a pet. Wait until you
have some time to spend adjusting to life with a new
pet (and allow him to adjust to you too!).
Traveling often doesn't mean you can't have a pet, but
you will have to consider who is going to care for him
while you are away - or will you take him with you?
Consider the cost of boarding or pet-sitting, or look
into pet-friendly accommodations so you can bring him
- Do you own or rent your own home? Many landlords do not
permit pets, and it's not a good idea to sneak them in
(if you're found out, you risk being told to get rid of
your pet). Make sure you have it in writing if you're
allowed to have a pet.
- What family considerations do you have? These include
issues such as allergies, or family members with
special needs. Many people with allergies still have
pets because they're willing to do what it takes to
manage their allergies. Is your family ready for such
a commitment? Another big consideration is children:
if you have very young children, for instance, or you
plan to have children, it may not be the best idea to
get a high-energy dog that requires a great deal of
attention and supervision.
- What age of pet do you want? Puppies and kittens are
cute, but do you have the time to raise one? If not,
consider adopting an adult or even a senior pet. Adult
pets have plenty of love to give and will bond to their
Make sure everyone in the household agrees to a pet and gets
the opportunity to meet the pet prior to adoption. Take the time
to find a pet that's a good match for you. It will ensure that you get
the pet you want, and ensure that a pet gets a loving, permanent home.