Have you ever wondered, if you’re ready to welcome a four-legged member to your family? With holidays approaching and Cabin fever kicking with COVID social distancing, we have heard this question, how do I know I am ready to bring a pet to my family? So, if you’ve been thinking about adding a pet to your family, first thing is we highly recommend please adopt don’t shop. Saving Great Animals is a great organization for adoptions.

To help you with decision, here are questions to ask of yourself:

What is your motivation? First question to ask is, why do you want to do this? Are your kids asking for it? Did you have a pet as a child and are missing the companionship? Are you looking for unconditional love and loyalty? Do you want an exercise buddy or long for an enthusiastic snuggler? If answer to any or many of these is yes, then you’re on the right track. You mayn’t be aware but science has determined there are proven health benefits to having a pet, such as lowering blood pressure and combating depression. Its a is a wonderful way to gain a best friend, stress reliever, and workout partner, all in one.
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Do I have the time or am I willing to make time? Pets need human interaction and exercise every day to stay physically and mentally healthy. Inactivity can lead to obesity, depression, and unwanted behaviors. Do you have a busy schedule? Are you out of house for most of the day? After a long day, can you commit to spending quality time in the morning before you leave and in the evening when you come home? Just putting down a pet door and a fenced yard are probably necessary but not sufficient as pets, unfortunately, will not take it upon themselves to go out and exercise with no human engagement. Besides, they would have missed you whole day and would want to get attention and bonding.

Is my home available and ready for a pet? There are many places where pets are not allowed if you are in a rental. Many home owner’s association have a limit on number of pets per household as well. Is your rental pet-friendly for the type of pet you want? Does your homeowners insurance permit it? Especially if you are considering adopting a large breed dog, make sure you’re clear on the legal ramifications. In many cases, if your rental or homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover dogs, you can obtain a separate Liability Insurance from a few nationwide insurers. You would need to be aware and plan ahead though. If this is all taken care, then take a look around your house. Is it safe for curious pets who want to learn and explore? If you’re not on the ground floor, do you have a plan to keep your pet safe from falls. Is your yard fenced? Is there a way to close access to your pool? Are toxic chemicals or medicines out of reach in your kitchen and garage (including antifreeze or other fluid spills on the garage floor)? Will you be able to not decorate your house with harmful plants for the pet you plan to bring? You get the idea, its from living situation to overall safety measures in house. Many things will need to change.

Am I financially ready? Depending upon what age pet you are adopting, your furry friends have needs way beyond food and shelter. It ranges from beds, to toys, a create or a carries, pet doors, grooming products, boarding costs when you go on vacation etc. You would need to get them vaccinated, spayed or neutered for better health and to avoid homeless pet population increase, regular dental cleaning, and preventive care, preventatives like flea, tick, and heartworm etc. You will need to make visits to your family’s another doctor like us to keep your pet healthy and happy. Additionally, if your pet falls sick there may be unplanned vet visits too periodically. You can consider pet insurance with monthly payment plans but you should be aware and plan ahead of all these costs before adopting.

Would my family be welcoming of the new pet? A family has to be supportive as it is change for all family members. Pets need care and if all family members are onboard its easier Most times, knowing if what type of pet you want and why helps so everyone in the family is equally loving. Nothing is cuter than kids and pets but they both come with a great deal of responsibility and financial plan required. You would need to ensure pets safety around kids and vice-versa. In addition, if you are doing it for your kids then please know that a usual pattern that is observed in most cases is that pets stay with parents if and when kids move out as kids are working hard to find their way in world and keeping costs low.

Are you committed? This is a big deal. Even if you have taken time to assess all of the above, would you do all that it takes to not lead your pet to shelter? If they go to shelter it can lead to either re-adoption or euthanasia (if pets can’t be matched to new owners). This could make the difference on life and death of your pet. By the end of this blog, our hope is that your response to this question was resounding yes! If it was, then you are ready!

If you have made it so far in our blog, chances are you are really serious on adding a furry family member. It is a great decision as pets bring endless love and joy in life. Congratulations! Give us a call at Renton Veterinary Hospital to help us help your pet lead a healthy, happy, and long life!

We recommend to give a pet a loving home and consider adoption as much as possible.