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Questions to Ask Yourself Before Adopting

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At Passion 4 Paws we spend quality time getting to know our adopters in order to match them with the right pet. We know our animals, so we can help you find the right companion to complement your life-style.  But before we get started, here are some questions to ask yourself to see if you're ready to adopt a pet.

Why do you want to adopt a pet?

Are you looking for a loving companion for yourself or your family?  Have you recently lost a pet and want to fill the empty space with a new one?  Knowing why you want to adopt a pet will help you to determine the species and breed that will best fit your lifestyle.

Are you willing to make a lifelong commitment?

Adopting an animal requires you to make a commitment to care for an animal for the rest of his life—that could mean 10 to 15 years for dogs and up to 20 years for cats. As you go through lifestyle changes such as moves, the birth of children and new jobs, your animal will remain a permanent part of your life. If circumstances change, will you still be able to care for your pet?  Our goal is to place our animals in homes with an owner who will make a lifelong commitment to them. For that reason we ask that you think carefully about this adoption, and if you are not prepared to make a lifetime commitment to your pet, then please wait until you are ready before adopting.

Do you know what kind of pet is right for your personality and life-style?

Your personality and lifestyle, along with challenges such as space restrictions and amount of time spent at home, should be explored to determine what type of pet is right for your household. Research different breeds and ask us which animals we recommend—we're experts at making perfect matches!

Can you afford to care for your pet's health and safety?

Caring for a dog or cat can become expensive if your pet requires a special diet, has a medical condition, or needs emergency care. Don't forget the cost of boarding or pet-sitting if you travel a lot. Ask yourself what you can afford to pay annually for your pet, and then do your homework. Call your local vet to see what their fees are, and ask your friends how much they spend on pet care before making a decision.

Do you have time for a pet?

Dogs require exercise and companionship every day.  If constantly left alone can develop behavioral problems. Cats tend to require less physical commitments on the part of their humans, but if you're planning to adopt a kitten, it will need play time and attention. If your work demands that you travel often, or if you're out of the house most days and evenings, this may not be the right time to adopt.

Are you prepared to deal with an animal's health challenges?

Fleas, allergies and sudden medical issues are just a few of the health-related problems that potential pet owners may face. Can you care for your pet if he gets sick?

Are you willing to train your animal companion?

Lack of training is one of the most common reasons that adopters return pets to shelters—are you willing to solve behavior problems? Basic training helps dogs and their owners communicate better, strengthening their relationship overall. And taking the time to understand why your cat does what she does, especially when it involves her litter box and scratching habits, will help you avoid potential problems.

Are you prepared to pet-proof your home?

Whether it's tightly sealing your garbage cans or paying attention to dangerous decorations during the holidays, you'll need to make your home safe before adopting. That includes keeping toxic foods, pet-unfriendly plants and dangerous household items out of paw's reach.

Is your living space adequate for an animal companion?

Be sure to choose an animal who will thrive in your home. If you're attracted to energetic large-breed dogs, but live in a small apartment, will your pooch have enough room? If you live on a noisy street, will it disturb your cat? Also consider that many landlords don't allow pets or place breed/size restrictions or limits on how many are allowed. Be sure to check with your landlord or condominium association before adopting.

Is your family ready for a pet?

If your kids are still toddlers, you might consider waiting a few years before adopting, as pet ownership ideally is a team effort. Children who are mature enough, can happily share pet-care duties. You may also have another pet at home who's not yet—or may never be—ready to share his kingdom with another animal.