Adopting a pet is much like having a child in that it is a huge responsibility that requires forethought and dedication. Simply spotting a cute little pooch in the window of a pet store is not a good enough reason to pick up an animal and take it home. Nor is the pursuit of some sort of ideological civic duty, as in adopting from a shelter just because you saw that ad on TV with Sarah McLachlan’s melancholy voice wafting out over videos of tortured animals in cages. Pet adoption is an extremely personal decision that involves a lot of factors, and it should be given due consideration. In fact, there are several things a potential pet owner should ponder before choosing to add an animal companion to the family.
1. Why do you want a pet? People can be selfish in their desires. There’s nothing wrong with that as long as it doesn’t negatively impact other beings. Animals are living creatures and should be given all due respect. So if you find that you want an animal simply because you are lonely, bored, or you think it will save your relationships, consider what your motivations could mean for the animal that has to live with you.
2. Do you know what having a pet entails? Most pets require at least a modicum of care, from feeding and cleaning to regular visits to the vet. Beyond that, they also need a lot of attention, and some may even need continued care of some sort (such as medical). These are all things to think about when making the decision to adopt a pet. They can be expensive, messy, and demanding. And while most pet owners get a lot in return, some may not be ready for the burden.
3. Are you capable of caring for an animal? There are many reasons that you may not be suited to caring for a pet. You might be physically or financially incapable, for example, or you might have to travel excessively, limiting your time with your dog or cat (and consigning them to life in a kennel). If you find, for whatever reason, that you are unable to care for a pet, it’s probably best to let it go to a home that can offer it more.
4. How will a pet fit into your life? Careful consideration should be given to how introducing a pet into your life will change your circumstances. Do you have kids or pets that will be affected by your decision? Will you have to rearrange a work schedule to ensure that your pet gets fed and walked regularly? And are you emotionally stable enough to meet the demands of a dependent creature? These are all things to think about before Fifi comes home with you.
5. How would you feel if you didn’t get a pet? This is something that most people never contemplate. If you feel indifferent to the prospect of continuing your life without an animal companion, then chances are you’re not really that interested in having one. If, however, you feel that you would be missing out on a crucial element of your existence by neglecting to adopt once you’ve met the preceding criteria, then perhaps you have what it takes to be a successful and loving pet parent.
Tony Benson is a writer for a kids t shirt printing company. If you’re looking to create your own custom clothing, take a look at the selection that T Shirt Printing has to offer.