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Tuesday, February 5,2013

Welcome Our New Addition

By Tina Valant-Siebelts  

You wisely heeded the advice of not getting (or giving) a pet during the holidays. Back into your routine, and after long and serious consideration, you’re considering adding a furry, four Legged member to your family.

Good timing! Shelters and rescues are bursting at the seams with inventory due to the economic crunch, and pets who were gifted (people didn’t realize how much work they’d be).  In addition, baby season is just around the corner. Unsterilized pets will breed, increasing the number of homeless animals. I hope this information will prepare you for this huge decision and lifetime commitment.

First, a little housekeeping...

Are you caring, responsible and patient? Are you willing to make room in your home and life in return for unconditional love?

Do you own your home? If not, do you have written permission from your landlord to have a pet?

Are you aware of any size/breed/quantity limitations?

Do you have a minimum of 90 minutes DAILY to exercise and interact with a new pet? This includes when you’re tired, we’re under a hurricane watch, etc.

Have you budgeted at least $1,000(one thousand US dollars) ANNUALLY for care, feeding, and bare necessities? Note: This number only increases and does not include emergencies.

Are all members of your family (over the age of seven) in agreement of a furry addition, and willing to do their part, such as feeding, cleaning up (both ends), walking, exercising, bathing, play time, and training, along with understanding their stuff* might be destroyed?

If you don’t have ALL yeses to the above… you’re setting yourself and the pet up for failure and/or  heartbreak. If you have all positive responses, proceed. You’ve got to go in with both eyes WIDE OPEN, so more questions:

•    Are there other pets in the home who like and get along well with others?
•    After all, they were there FIRST and deserve top billing!
•    Do you have a trusted vet?
•    Where will your pet stay, if you go out of town?
•    How will you handle training? Housebreaking? Behavioral issues?
•    What would you do if you had to move and were unable to take this pet with you?
•    Who will assume ownership and loving care of your pet if something should happen to you?
•    What activities do you plan to do with your dog? ie: agility, Rally-O, disc, dog park, obedience...
•    You can positively change your life and the life of a pet by making an honest, informed decision. Even if the timing isn’t optimal right now, it doesn’t mean it won’t ever be. There are lots of ways to help homeless pets, not JUST adoption.
•    Next time, I’ll address the adoption process, and some common misconceptions. 

 

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