Chris and I considered a lot of different factors in a short period of time before adopting Lilly. We were fortunate that we had friends and family who were willing to talk to us about their experiences with their own pets. But if you are a first time pet owner, there are a few things you might want to consider.
Most importantly, do you have the time to devote to a pet? A lot of the pets that were at the shelter where we adopted Lilly had been dropped off because their first family didn’t have the time to take care of their pet. Guys, it’s a living being you are responsible for. It takes time, effort, energy, and, again, TIME. If you like to pick up and go on a weekend trip on a whim, maybe a dog isn’t the best idea. If you work 80 hours a week on a regular basis, maybe a pet won’t work for you. It’s obviously a decision you have to make for yourself, but truly think about whether you can give your pet the best life possible.
Finances are key too. I don’t know as much about cats or birds or hamster, but I do know that a puppy can be expensive. (Again, see above about taking care of a living creature.) Lilly requires food, toys, checkups with her veterinarian, heart worm medication, flea prevention, and lots of other things. Not all that stuff comes cheap. In fact, in the week that we’ve had her, we’ve been to the vet three times and she’s on a wide array of antibiotics.
Chris and I estimate that Lilly will cost us, on average, $150 a month. That does not include any vet visits. Additionally, she obviously had upfront costs including an adoption fee, obedience classes, and prepping our home for a puppy (crate, food, toys, etc.). This is a cost we’re working into our monthly budget – taking a bit away from our “fun” money and knowing that our savings may be used in the event of a Lilly emergency, in the way it’s there for a car-emergency or any other type of emergency we might come across.
Have you recently adopted a pet? What different factors did you take into consideration before doing so?