Adopting a pet is a kind and exciting decision, but it isn’t an easy one. Whether you have the quarantine blues, a lonely pet at home, or plan to gift your family with a new furry member for the holidays, here are 3 questions to ask yourself to help make a decision. 

Can a pet fit into my lifestyle? 

One of the first things to consider is how a new pet will fit into your lifestyle. Aspects to consider would be: 

  • Space in your household  
  • Work schedule/other time commitments  
  • All household members – including children and other pets 

If you live in an apartment and regularly work overtime, for example, a large, energetic dog may not be the best pet for you. Perhaps a cat, which spends all its time indoors, would be best suited to  your lifestyle. If you rent your home, make sure to check your home’s pet policy, in case it has size/breed restrictions or a pet limit.  

Some pets are more high-maintenance than others, but all pets need daily exercise/play, walking for dogs, litterbox cleaning for cats, and daily grooming, so it’s important to consider how these activities will be worked into your daily routine.  

It’s also important to remember that cats and dogs are predatory animals, so consider if you already have any pets that are prey animals, such as birds, rabbits, or rodents. Prey animals may feel stressed with the addition of a new canine or feline family member, so make sure you would be able to accommodate all pets with the space, safety, and peace they need before adopting a new one. 

What type of pet and personality would be the best fit? 

You never know who you’ll meet as you search for a new pet, but it’s a good idea to know what sort of pet you are looking for, considering your lifestyle. Some questions to consider may be: 

  • Do you want an energetic pet to keep up with your active lifestyle, or would you prefer a couch potato, perhaps a senior pet? 
  • As cute as puppies are, are you able to make the time commitment to train one? Would you prefer an adult pet that is already trained? 
  • Do you want a lower-maintenance, short coat? 
  • Do you need to select a hypoallergenic breed?  
  • What is a manageable size? Would you be able to safely restrain a prospective pet on walks? 
  • Is a prospective pet skittish around other animals or children? Will this pet’s personality fit with the rest of the family? 

A pet will bring changes to the whole household. Before making an adoption decision, all family members and current pets should meet a prospective pet to determine if anyone in the household has pet allergies and to make sure the prospective pet gets along with all family members. 

Initial introductions are crucial, as pets are commonly wary of other animals and children and may bite or scratch if they feel uneasy around them. Many shelters will also be able to provide some history on available pets, such as whether they come from a home with other pets or children or if a pet has a history of aggression towards other animals.  

How should I budget for a new pet? 

A new pet comes with initial and ongoing expenses beyond adoption fees. You’ll need to purchase new bowls, toys, and other supplies. Newly adopted pets should also receive an adoption exam (free at Essentials PetCare!) to make sure all medical needs are addressed and that you are set with a plan for long-term care.  

Ongoing expenses will include food, monthly preventative medications, grooming expenses, litter for cats, and veterinary visits at least annually for a wellness exam, vaccinations, and lab work.  

Aside from budgeting ongoing preventative veterinary care, it is wise to set aside some savings in case your pet gets sick or injured and needs additional veterinary care.  

You should also check to see what individual needs a prospective pet may have, such as any medical conditions or if the pet has a coat type that needs professional grooming. 

Essential Tip: Essentials PetCare services have all-inclusive pricing and are listed on our website. You can budget your pet’s care to plan how much you’ll spend at your visits, and you can also apply to see if you qualify to pay for expenses of $150+ over time. 

Pet adoptions are very important to us at EPC. In fact, a rescued pet inspired the idea behind Essentials PetCare and the Annie’s Army Program. Pets who have been adopted in the past 6 months can receive a free adoption exam – a $60 value. If you decide that now is the right time to adopt a new furry family member, simply check in for your visit and email your pet’s adoption record to your local clinic to participate. 

Prices subject to change. See current prices: