Pet Ownership: Is it for You?
Folks in Asheville love their animals. As a former pet sitter, the community affection for pets is one of the many characteristics I love about this city! Adoption events and fundraisers abound, leading to increased awareness and visibility that may having you considering bringing Fluffy or Fido into your life.
Let’s be honest—we have all made regrettable or unwise purchases at one point or another. I admit to returning more than a few things to stores when a reality check opened my eyes. But Fido and Fluffy are not toasters. From the moment you first look in your pet’s adoring eyes, you bond with them and welcome a new member to your family. We are given unconditional love with every breath they take.
So before visiting your local humane society or animal shelter, where an impulsive moment could easily happen, take a moment to give some thought to the questions below. Your answers should help you arrive at the right decision, and maybe save you from heartache of realizing that the forever home you promised is not meant to be.
Money Matters: Is it in My Budget?
I know, my heart is racing too just thinking about finances and making a budget! I am as guilty as anyone with wanting to put my head in the sand when it comes to budgeting, but the first priority of a responsible pet owner starts with dollars and cents. Double check your budget with these questions:
- Can you afford the pet’s food when cute little Buddy turns into an 80 lb beast eating you out of house and home?
- How about Kitty’s yearly vet appointments for immunizations and routine preventative meds to keep her healthy?
- Do you have room in your budget for monthly flea treatments?
- Don’t forget the supplies to keep yourself and your home clean. Can you afford carpet cleaning products, pet odor removers, and even pet fur and lint removers?
Unfortunately, it’s all too common to have to make unexpected trips to the vet, so you will need to be financially prepared. You might be able to save a bit by taking advantage of free shot clinics offered by the humane society or community organizations, so be sure to ask around.
It is clear what our heart wants and aches for—a 4 footed best friend! But it needs to make sense in our head and our wallets too.
Lifestyles: Does a Pet Fit Into Your Life?
Ask yourself these questions about your life:
- Do you work long hours or travel frequently?
- Are you away from your home on the weekends with activities?
- Do you spend most of your time away from your home?
Cats by nature are independent, can use litter boxes, and are more suited to your busy life—Fluffy can take care of herself for longer periods of time. On the other hand, dogs cannot—they need walking and plenty of attention, plain and simple.
Unless the dog can accompany you, thought needs to be given to providing care and companionship for the pet when you have to stay late at the office or go out of town. Relying on a family member or good friend is not always an option, so we are back to spending money on someone to help with the pet. Is it affordable for you?
These are just some questions to get you started on the right track. The advantages of having a loving animal companion are numerous. They may not be able to retrieve slippers or the newspaper, but pets teach us so much, like living more in the moment and not taking ourselves too seriously! As they bring joy into our lives, we see an improvement in our physical and mental well-being. Have fun with the process and don’t rush. Go utilize the services of trained adoption counselors and speak to other pet owners. When it is the right time for you, it will happen.