Adopting a pet is a decision that should not be taken lightly. Pets, whether it be a dog, cat, fish, gerbil, etc., are lifelong commitments – “lifelong” in terms of your pet’s life – and is a commitment that needs to be completely thought out beforehand.
A pet needs food, water, training, shelter, medical, and lots and lots of love. Basically, a pet is a four-legged child, and when it comes to your child’s well being, nothing can stand in the way. So, before deciding whether or not you are ready for that grande commitment, there are two important factors you must consider.
Money: Most importantly, are you financially able to support another living, breathing life? The amount you would spend on vet bills alone can determine that. Be prepared to pay a few (a few meaning 3) hundred a year, and this amount usually only factors in the annual physical exam vet visit, including vaccines and tests. Add spaying and neutering, minor – (diarrhea, vomiting, infections) or major (broken bones, injuries needing surgery) complications, and that $300 can tripple in the blink of an eye. Granted, this information mainly concerns dog parenting; cats, rodents, fish, etc. are much less expensive in terms of medical expenses, though it is important to keep up-to-date on all pet types’ vaccines. Aside from the medical bills, potential pet parents must also add in adoption fees, food, bedding, grooming, toys, hygienic tools (kitty litter and boxes, pee pads), etc., and you can rack up an estimated $700-$3,000 a year.
Time: Kennels and doggie daycare were created for the busy pet parent. But, with the amount you spend on a pet, why have one in the first place if you will not be able to enjoy its company? If you travel or work a lot, it may be the wrong choice to adopt a dog. Cats or rodents though, since they are less maintenance and can be left alone for longer periods of time (with sufficient food and water of course), may be the perfect companion for you. However, cats and rodents need care and love too, so if you are sure you would not be able to provide that on the schedule you have, stick with fish.
Of course there is much more to consider when deciding whether to be a pet parent or not, but money and time are the two most important.
Do I have the money to give a pet everything it needs and wants?
Do I have the time to give a pet everything it needs and wants?
If you answered “yes” to both of these questions, then maybe you should consider looking at your local shelters for an animal who needs a home.
However, if you answered “no” to one, or especially both, of those questions, maybe it is best if you just stick with a Tamagotchi.
And remember, ALWAYS ADOPT!