Getting a new pet is super exciting! Anticipating long walks on the beach together or snuggling up by the fire in winter are the things that all ‘pet parents’ dream of. Here are several aspects to consider when adopting.
Adopting a pet is a long-term commitment. Your average dog or cat can live up to 12 years old with some dogs living till they are 15 and some cats living till they are 20!
Do you have enough time for a pet? Outside of your work hours and social life, your pet needs to be groomed, fed, and exercised. Companion animals love human company and companionship, so you must make sure that you are able to cater to their needs.
Do you have space? Space doesn’t necessarily mean the size of the animal, it means the species and the breed. You need to know their energy levels? Are they good jumpers? Do you have enough time to walk them? Is your backyard big enough? You need to do your research on the breed you are considering in order to ensure that you have the right amount of space for it and you to live comfortably.
Pet friendly home:
Create a pet friendly environment. Ensure your backyard has been checked for toxic plants and that there is no snail bail or rat bait around for your pet to get to. Ensure your fences and gates are secure and that are no holes or broken parts for your pet to escape out of. Inside the house, make sure that your home is “pet safe” i.e. no loose wires to chew on or get tangled in; no chocolate lying on a low table for “Fluffy” to snack on; medications safely locked away etc.
Apart from teaching your pet ‘tricks’, training is about teaching your pet how you’d like them to behave i.e. where you would like them to go to the toilet, to sit before visitors enter the home, sit for their dinner, walk nicely on a lead etc. This all takes time and patience to train a puppy/kitten or an adult dog/cat but is well worth the investment. It is important to ensure that all of this training is done in a positive frame work by building your relationship of trust and companionship with your pet. Methods based on punishment, are harsh or heavy-handed are ineffective and will often lead to a break down in your relationship, which defeats the point of having a pet.
The first visit with your vet is good time to discuss which food you should be feeding your pet and how frequently. If you know your pet will have special dietary requirements e.g. a python, it’s a good idea to research where you will be able to reliably source its food and whether it will be within your budget for long term costs.
Identification is important in case your pet goes missing. Ensure your pet has a microchip and is registered with your local council. It is a legal requirement for your dog to be microchipped and to be wearing a collar with an ID tag.
Ensuring your pet is entertained whilst you are out of the house is important. Dogs or cats can get bored and develop behavioural problems if they have no outlet for their mental, physical or social needs. Giving your dog a Kong to chew or your cat some different perch places around the house helps keep them entertained whilst you are out. There are many many ideas on our blog about enrichment.
Before buying a puppy or adopting a kitten, ensure you read about the breed’s grooming requirements. Will you be able to afford multiple visits to the groomer each year, and if not, are you able to do or learn to do the grooming yourself? Ensure you have time to groom your pet: bathing, cleaning ears, clipping nails, brushing long coats etc.
As with anything, there are costs involved with owning a pet. Starting with the upfront costs: Health check, vaccinations, worming, microchipping, de-sexing, and then lifetime routine costs yearly vaccinations, heartworm, flea and tick medication, boarding, and training. You also need to be prepared for an accident or sudden illness. No-one plans to break their ankle, similarly, no dog or cat plans to get into a fight, tear a cruciate ligament or get pancreatitis, however, these incidents do occur and being prepared by having pet insurance or a special savings account with money set aside, will serve to remove the financial stress from the situation and help you focus on your pet getting well again.
Some species and breeds may be predisposed to particular medical conditions. Research the species and breed that you are interested in so that you understand the health conditions your pet may develop. Discuss with the breeders whether their breeding animals have been tested for those conditions, and if not, ask whether you are willing / able to take on the risk of your new pet developing a condition that could have long term effects on its health and well-being.
Adopting a new pet is wonderful! Feel free to contact us on 0481 527 678 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for advice on new pet adoption – we’ll be happy to help!