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What to ask before adopting

Welcoming a pet into your family is known to improve potential pet parents’ lives. When you’re considering adopting an animal, however, there are a few things you should ask before you take that exciting final step. Greencross Vets Behaviour Services Manager Serena Dean gives her advice. 

Are you ready?

When considering getting a pet, the first question to ask is, “Are you ready for a pet?” Your new pet will be a member of your family and is a commitment for their entire life. Ensure that your lifestyle and time commitments suit the pet you are considering and that your long-term goals include a pet. Do you love the idea of taking your new pet for a run twice a day for the next 10–15 years? Do you enjoy washing, blow-drying and brushing longhaired pets? Do you live in an apartment or have a small backyard? Do you work more than 40 hours each week or work from home?
Make sure you choose a pet that will match your lifestyle and personality. If you love hanging out at home curled up with a good book you need a different pet to someone who wants to run along the beach every morning and afternoon.

What are the financial costs?

You should also have considered the financial costs of your chosen pet, including: 
  • Adoption fees or purchase cost, as well as vaccinations, desexing and vet checkups
  • Regular cost of food, health and fun
  • Unexpected costs and emergencies
  • Items to make your new pet feel safe and comfortable, and your house and yard pet-proof
  • Provision a fun and interesting environment with lots of mental stimulation. 
Speak to your local Greencross Vets for advice and support.

What pet is right for me?

Research is vital to the process of adopting a pet. Learn about the species and breed that you are considering adopting and ask your vet team and other pet parents what they love and what are the challenges for the pet you are considering.  You want to have realistic expectations of the pet’s needs so you can provide them with the best in life and develop a strong bond, even through the challenging times.

Puppy/kitten or adult pet?

If you’re considering a cat or dog, you need to decide whether a puppy or older dog is right for you. No matter their age, all pets need love, training, safety and guidance. Having a new pet join the family is exciting and it’s vital that you give them the best start (or re-start) in life. Young puppies and kittens are relying on their humans to teach them how to become confident, social, happy pets. If you are not sure if you are up for the toilet training and early morning wake-up calls of a young pet you may want to consider one of the many juvenile and adult pets waiting for their forever homes. And don’t forget the golden oldies – it’s a wonderful thing to be able to provide a loving home in the final years of a pets life, and yes, you can teach an old dog (or pet!) new tricks. 

More information

If you’re preparing to welcome a pet into your life, your local Greencross Vets can give you advice about what you should think about. The staff at your nearest Petbarn store are also knowledgeable, and the RSPCA has informative articles and guides about adopting and caring for pets.

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