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  • Writer's pictureSARL

5 Things to Consider When Adopting a Pet


A grey cat and a small tricolor puppy sitting in green grass.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a dog or cat lounging in your lap or keeping you company on adventures? You may be looking into adopting a new dog or cat for your household, but you need to consider if an animal is right for you, or what kind of animal may be right for you. Take a look at these questions you should consider when deciding to adopt.

Are You Ready to Love Everything about Your Pet?

Yes, dogs and cats can be cute and cuddly, but you need to be prepared for all that having a pet brings. Pet hair, accidents, fleas/ticks, chewing on furniture and belongings, and unexpected medical expenses can all be part of the bigger package. Your new dog or cat will love you unconditionally – and they should be able to expect the same in return.

What Are You Looking for in a Furry Friend?

Consider whether you’re an active person looking for a hiking buddy, a homebody who wants a snuggle buddy on the couch, or maybe somewhere in between. Decide what traits you’d like in an animal – active, playful, quiet, shy, energetic, calm – then choose an animal who is best suited to your lifestyle in terms of age, temperament, breed, etc. When it comes to deciding whether to get a dog or a cat, you’ll want to weigh the pros and cons of each.

What Is Your Home and Lifestyle Like? 

Do you own your home? If you rent, are you allowed to have pets? Do you have children, elderly parents, friends visiting often, etc.? Cats and smaller dogs usually require less indoor space, while larger dogs often need more, with either a fenced-in yard or another place to run outside. Some animals love all other animals and humans, while some do best as the only pet, with older children only, or may be uncomfortable around strangers. Bringing an animal into your home is a big decision, and you need to consider what kind of pet would do best in your particular living situation. 

How Much Time Will You Have to Spend with Your Pet?

Do you work long-hours outside of your home? Are you retired? Do you travel frequently? Consider how much time you will have to dedicate to your dog or cat. In addition to basic needs like being fed and having a place to relieve themselves, dogs and cats will need enrichment, attention, exercise, and companionship. Dogs and cats are different, and each type of dog or cat will have their own unique needs as well.

Are You Prepared to Care for an Animal for Its Entire Lifetime?

Owning a pet is a long-term commitment that can span upward of 15-20 years. You should be prepared to care for your dog or cat and provide all it needs for the duration of its lifetime, including food, grooming, toys, registration, pet insurance, and medical care. You also need to consider future lifestyle changes including moving, children, marriage, retirement, etc. Having a pet can be incredibly rewarding, but only if you have the time, money, and love to put into the relationship.

If you’ve thought about it carefully and are ready to welcome a dog or cat into your home, our adoption counselors at Salem Animal Rescue League will help find the right fit for you.  Browse our adoptable animals now and fill out an application to meet them!

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