7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Adopting a Pet

When is the best time to adopt a new puppy or kitten? We’re tempted to say any time is the best time. Fall’s crisp weather, for instance, makes for good long walks in the evening with your new canine and cozy couch cuddles with a new feline friend.

However, in reality, we know the best time for adopting a pet is the time that’s best for you and your family. Bringing a furry family member into your home is a big commitment. If you’re considering a new pet, ask yourself these questions…

Do I have the time?

We recommend adopting a new puppy or kitten when your schedule isn’t too hectic. Owning a pet is a time commitment and getting into new habits with a pet can take weeks or months. Be sure to think about time spent potty training, feeding, exercising and socializing with your pet. If you can swing it, this might be a good time for a new furry addition.

Can I afford it?

Like most things in life, caring for your pet has a cost. Think about supplies, toys, food, vet visits, grooming, treats, boarding when you’re on vacation. The American Kennel Club pegs the average cost of dog ownership over 15 years at more than $15,000. And cats? They’re not far off with about an $11,000 lifetime cost of ownership, according to Pet Place. Do the math before you adopt.

Do I understand the reality vs. fantasy?

We know, puppies and kittens are adorable. They’re fluffy and playful and sweet. And kid’s love them so much, it’s tempting to place one under the Christmas tree for bonus parenting points.

But dogs and cats can also be messy, naughty and annoying in the middle of the night while you’re trying to sleep. Are you ready for the realities of pet ownership, both physically and emotionally?

What type of pet works best for me?

You’re getting closer! Next is to ask what type of pet works best for you or your family’s lifestyle. You might have always dreamed of having a goldendoodle, but one might have too much energy for your small condo in downtown Omaha. Or you might love cats, but your son is allergic. Consider the size and personality of the pets and consider if your lifestyle is compatible.

What type of pet works best for me?

Many people prefer to adopt young puppies and kittens. Have we mentioned how cute they are? But training them can be a lot of work. Consider an older cat or dog if you’re looking for a calmer companion. Shelters and rescues will be able to tell you how they may interact with children and other members of your family before you adopt.

Am I in it for the long haul?

Many cats and dogs live well over 10 years old. Along the way, they’ll have health needs and bad habits you’ll have to break. Maybe you’ll move. Can you take them with you? You’ll surely fall in love and one day you’ll have to say goodbye. Can you handle that? We know, it’s tough to think about but it’s worth considering before you adopt.

Where will I adopt from?

If you’ve asked yourself the previous six question and still want to add a new four-legged friend to the family, we recommend you adopt for a shelter or rescue. Here are our local picks:

  • Nebraska Humane Society – 402-444-7800
  • Little White Dog Rescue
  • Doberman Rescue of Nebraska, Inc. – 402-614-4495
  • Midwest Wheaten Rescue – 402-850-9292
  • Midwest Dog Rescue Network

Have a new pet? Schedule the fur ball’s first check up with our veterinarians. Learn more about what to expect here on our website.