Monday, May 13, 2013

Are you ready for a pet?

Owning your own furry friend seems like fun but a lot goes into to caring for a pet.  Before you have your heart set on bringing Fido home, make sure you know what you're getting into.  Here are some questions to ask yourself.

Why do you want a pet?

Don't get a pet on a whim. This companionship could last almost 20 years, be responsible and think it through.

Do you have time for a pet?

You're a pet owner 24/7, not just on the weekends or when it fits into your schedule.  Many pets are in shelters because their owners didn't realize how much time a pet requires.  They need food, water, exercise and lots of love every day.

Can you afford it?

Pets are a constant cost.  Food, toys, grooming, kitty litter, training and other expenses add up quickly.  You need to be able to afford your pet and all of their needs.

Are you prepared to deal with the challenges that come with ownership?

Owning a pet can be a challenge at times.  It takes time to house break and train animals, expect a few incidents.

Can you have a pet where you live?

Don't get caught with a pet in an apartment that doesn't allow them.  Not only will you get a hefty fee, but your pet will be forced to find a new home, or go to a shelter.  Being shuffled between homes can take a toll on your pet.  Like children, animals need a stable home life to be healthy and happy.

Is it the right time for you to own a pet?

Having your own pet can be tempting, but it might not be the right time.  If you have a busy class schedule or work long hours you might want to wait.  Waiting until you're ready will make ownership less stressful for you and your pet.

Is your place pet friendly?

Space can be an issue for many animals.  Size isn't the only problem to think about.  Many small dogs need room to run around and exercise to stay calm.  Your pet need to fit into your lifestyle and living arrangements.

Will you be a responsible pet owner?

Be sure to spay or neuter your pet, follow community pet laws, and be sure to get your pet ID tags.  It's also important to schedule regular vet visits and prepare a healthy diet.

Do you have anyone who could help take care of your pet while you're away?

You always need to have a back up plan incase you are going to be away or need to leave unexpectedly.  You never leave your pet alone to fend for itself.

Are you ready to commit?

Pets are a long term commitment. If your 20 now, you may still have this pet when your 35-40.  Think about all of the changes you and your pet will go through over the years.  Be ready to start living life around your pet.  It's a life changing commitment.

Where do I go to find the right pet?

If you're ready to be a pet owner we recommend first taking a look at your local animal shelters.  Adopting can give pets a second chance at finding a happy home.  Most animals at the shelter are there because their previous owners didn't have time for them.  They're looking for a loving home and your looking for a loving pet, it's the perfect match.  By adopting you know you're getting a healthy pet, saving money, and best of all saving a life.  

These are some real pet up for adoption around Iowa.  Most animal shelters offer picture of the animals up for adoption on their website.  Search your local shelters, you might find the furry friend you've been looking for.
Jack - Jack Russel Terrier
Cedar Rapids Animal Shelter

Jadis - Calico
Cedar Rapids Animal Shelter
Buck - Domestic Shorthair
Animal Rescue League of Iowa in Des Moines and Ankeny

Teddy - Shih Tzu
Animal Rescue League of Iowa in Des Moines and Ankeny 
Get more information on pet adoption on the American Humane Society website

Have any inspiring pet adoption stories or advise for first time pet owners? Email them to us at

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