Think You're Ready For A Pet?

If you want a pet, you need to have enough space, money, free time, and someone who can look after your pet when you're not there.
Think You're Ready For A Pet?

Last update: 13 October, 2018

Adopting a cat or a dog is a big responsibility. They’re totally different species with different needs. Therefore, it’s a good idea to think very carefully before you make a decision like this. In this article, you can look over some key aspects before deciding that you’re ready for a pet.

How to know if you’re ready for a pet?

Maybe you’ve seen some cute videos online of cats or dogs and immediately said: “I want one”. Maybe a friend’s dog has had puppies and he or she is giving them up for adoption. No matter what, it’s not a decision to be taken lightly. Animals aren’t toys, and they’re definitely not objects you can throw away once you’re bored of them.

Maybe you don’t know if you’re ready for a pet and you want to be sure before making your final decision about adopting one. If so, then try answering these questions:

1. Why do you want a pet?

This is the first thing you need to answer and you should be honest about it. Maybe you want a pet because you feel lonely at home, you love animals, or just you want a have an exercise buddy. Perhaps, when you were little, there was always an animal in your home.

2. Are you prepared to look after them for many years?

Depending on what species or breed you plan on adopting, and how well it is looked after, a pet can live for more than 10 years. Therefore, this is a long-term commitment. This means that you need to feed them, look after them, walk them, and keep them healthy for probably more than a decade.

A woman seated in couch while she plays with her cat

3. Do you have enough free time?

This is really important. Adopting a pet doesn’t mean leaving it at the house alone all day long, or hoping that your pet will sleep for 24 hours in order for you to study or rest.

Animals have their needs when it comes to exercise and outdoor activities, especially if you get a dog or you live in a city apartment. If this is the case for you, then you’ll need to walk them in the park or around a big city block at least once a day. It doesn’t matter whether it raining, snowing, hot or cold, you’ll need to do it.

Also, a dog shouldn’t be more than eight hours a day without having any company. Why? Because this will just cause your dog to develop behavioral problems due to anxiety, depression, and stress. Therefore, if you leave the house very early and come home late, it’s a good idea not to get a pet for the time being.

4. Do you have enough money?

Pet food, whether made at from scratch or bought, veterinary appointments, toys, a bed, and pretty much anything else will cost money. Although they may not eat as much as a human (depending on what animal you get), you will still need to consider if you can really afford a pet.

Woman playing with her dog

Remember, they may live for more than 10 years, so you’ll need to look to the future as well. Sure, you can’t predict the future, but if you have many debts and you struggle to make it to the end of the month, then maybe now isn’t the best time for you to get a pet.

5. Do you have someone to look after your pet while you’re gone?

This is especially important when you go on a holiday vacation when you want to escape to the countryside or any other activity that keeps you away from your pet for a few days.

Obviously, this also matters if you get sick, or even if something worse happens to you. Many people choose “godparents” for their pets who are responsible for them if you’re not around anymore. 

6. Do you have enough space for a pet?

Finally, to know if you are ready for a pet, you need to think about how much space you have around the house. Sure, you can always move. But if you live in a very small area, you’ll be better off by choosing a smaller animal, such as a poodle or a pug.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.