I’d like to have an animal in my life! The right questions to ask yourself before adopting.
By Patricia Durocher • 25 March 2019
First and foremost, ask yourself if you are really ready; beware of sudden impulses. Ask yourself the right questions:
- Do I have enough time to spend with it? How much time will my choice of pet need per day?
- Do I have the budget for everything that will be needed? What happens if there are unexpected expenses? (An animal needs health care and maintenance, such as annual vet visits, teeth cleanings, vaccinations, etc.; you have to plan for the required funds.)
- Am I ready to invest in special needs such as health, education or behavioral problems?
- Which type of lifestyle do I have to offer an animal? Am I rather calm or rather active?
- Are animals allowed where I live? Am I ready to only choose places that accept animals in the future?
- Why do I want an animal? Is it because I’m lonely; to be more active; to give the kids a companion?
Now, you must choose the right type of animal according to your answers:
- A dog?
What a wonderful companion! Very attached to their humans, dogs love living with us and the bond they have with us is very strong. How can you resist? However, a dog requires lots of time and energy every day: going outside many times a day, games, as well as mental stimulation, grooming, education (especially for puppies). Our human schedules and expectations don’t always fit with a dog’s needs.
- A cat?
Such a graceful, sweet and docile friend! Our little felines are adorable creatures, and a curious mix of warmth and independence. Cats are often thought of as requiring very little care: a litter, a little game time and a little grooming. However, cats are very attached to their territory and to their routine. Cohabitation with other animals can be problematic. Also, because cats are more independent, owners sometimes neglect their health care and other obligations (licenses, for instance) and let kitty out without a second thought.
- An exotic animal?
A rabbit, a bird, a guinea pig, a rat… So many are waiting to find a home. Don’t be fooled into thinking that a smaller animal needs less care, however. These animals also need play time, a clean and stimulating environment, and a special diet. Exotic animals are unique!
Once you’ve chosen the type of animal, ask yourself where you will get it.
- A breeder: Yes, if you like a particular race of animal and only if the breeder seems to have an ethical approach and allows you to tour their installation. To make sure, they should be certified by Anima-Québec.
- A pet store: Yes only if the pet store sells shelter or abandonned animals. Don’t hesitate to ask them a lot of questions about where their animals come from. Otherwise, you could be unknowingly encouraging puppy/kitten
- A shelter : YES because many animals are still rejected by the community. Shelter adoption is the best choice to give an animal a second chance. Shelters often evaluate animals medically and behaviorally, as well as sterilize, vaccinate and deworm them and sometimes even microchip them. And what a great way to make a difference!
If you want help evaluating the different options that are open to you, ask your local shelter or vet for guidance and read up on the topic. Once you know the facts, follow your heart because having an animal is for life!
I am an adoption clerk and animals have always been my passion. I am a specialist behavioral and I love learning and sharing my knowledge on animal behavior.