With so many unwanted pets out there, rehoming animals can be a responsible choice and can be a gift that keeps on giving. Whilst adopting a pet will be a very exciting time for the whole family, like any commitment, it can be useful to take the time to fully explore your options before making any decision.
By carefully considering the options available to you and the impacts of these on your current and future lifestyle, can help to avoid having regrets. Furthermore, it can be wise to be mindful of the fact that rehoming pets mean that the animal may have already experienced trauma and upheaval, therefore, you’ll want to obviously reduce the possibility of needing to rehome your pet again because it didn’t work out. So not rushing into decisions could reduce unnecessary stress and disruption for all involved.
Here are some areas to focus on when considering the options and impacts for bringing a rescued pet into your family.
Timing is Everything
Some might say, no time is a good time but actually there are some times when it can be useful to take a considered and practical approach. If you’ve found yourself feeling unsure if it is the right time for you to adopt a pet, it’s worth taking a pause rather than jumping in.
A good example of this might be if you’re trying for a baby and are also considering adopting a dog. It can take an adopted dog some time to settle into a new home and routine, will require your time and attention and a dog and baby vying for your attention at the same time might not be the best combination! Therefore, the best option may be to ensure either your dog is established in your life before your baby arrives or your baby is not so dependent on you when you adopt your dog.
Level of Investment
Perhaps you’ve already got your hopes set on adopting a particular pet, but have you really considered if your chosen type of pet is the best suited to your lifestyle and family? After all the investment required for caring for a dog is very different to looking after a hamster.
So, instead of adopting a dog because that’s the pet you had when you were young, think more about questions to ask before adopting a dog. For example – is a dog the most suitable pet choice for my lifestyle? Am I ready for a dog? Is now the right time? Can I afford the time and expenses to care for a dog?
All to often, with the excitement and anticipation of adopting your new pet, the rather important factor of ongoing expenses is overlooked! Instead, the focus is on the short-term initial costs such as adoption fees, toys, food bowls etc. However, what you really need to think about is if you can afford the long-term costs like veterinary fees when they’re unwell or pet-sitting fees when you are away on holiday.
Spend some time estimating potential costs for the expected lifetime of your chosen pet. What if your situation changed, could you afford these monthly outgoings or emergency payouts?
Assess your options, does it work out cheaper to pay for pet insurance, bearing in mind that there are some veterinary fees which aren’t covered in most policies?
In the world of pets and finances – size matters! The bigger your pet the more expensive it will be to care for! For example, did you know that veterinary fees are based on the size and weight of your pet? This is due to larger animals requiring higher dosages of treatment and drugs. So, if you were considering a Great Dane, perhaps ask yourself if you can afford of the ongoing costs of a Great Dane?!
Similarly, it can be wise to look as far into the future as you can when deciding on what pet to adopt or if you’re ready to adopt a pet. It can be handy to keep asking yourself, what are the long-term impacts of this choice? Examples of future based question to ask might be – what is the life expectancy of your pet? 15 years? Will your chosen pet fit into your life plans for 15 years’ time?
When choosing which type or breed, do your research into potential health problems and life expectancy, rather than just go for the cutest looking pet in the rescue centre. To avoid the temptation of a tug on your heartstrings and spontaneous decision, do this research before heading to the rehoming centre.