Bringing a companion animal into your life should never be an impulse decision. Sadly, every year over 300,000 animals are abandoned predominately due to a lack of knowledge about their proper care and needs. Many of these animals never find another home and are euthanised as a result. Opting to adopt, instead of purchasing from a pet store or breeder, is the main way you can help end the cycle of breeding, abandonment, and euthanasia. Adopting is a big decision, and to prevent these loveable companions being abandoned all over again, here are a few things you should consider before bringing an animal into your family –
1. Do I know enough about the species/breed?
Perhaps the most important aspect is learning about the animal and breed you are considering bringing into your life, as each being will have different needs and wants. Understanding all aspects of the animals behavioural traits, potential health issues, and natural life expectancy will help you to answer the following questions.
2. Do I have time to care for them?
All animals require time, and you have to decide if you have enough time to give your new companion attention, exercise, and playtime. You should also determine if you are more of a homebody or someone who loves to be active and if your desired companion can be part of your lifestyle.
3. Can I afford to care for them?
When adopting an animal you are making the commitment to provide them with all the care they may require. This includes providing them with proper nutrition, toys, general care, and of course covering vet bills (which can be incredibly expensive).
4. Am I ready to make a life-long commitment?
A companion animals’ life-span varies depending on the species. It is important that you commit to the animal’s entire life, which can potentially be 20+ years!
If you are ready to care for, love, and protect an animal for their entire life, then the next step is finding your new best friend. Visiting your local shelters and pounds to adopt a life is the most compassionate option. Animals in pounds and shelters have been abandoned for several reasons, most generally due to a mismatch between the breed and a person’s lifestyle, the previous carers moving to a place that doesn’t allow pets, or the inability to support the animal financially. By choosing to adopt, you are giving an animal in need a second chance at life and helping to shut down the cruel puppy farming industry.
If you are not ready to make a life-long commitment, why not try fostering? Fostering animals reduces the commitment and means you are caring for an animal until they can find a permanent home. It takes away the long-term financial element of caring for an animal and also provides you with an opportunity to learn about different species and see which one is better suited to your lifestyle! For the animal in need, it means they don’t have to spend so much time living at the loud shelter and gives them a safe, warm, loving temporary home.