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Pet adoption is a great way to enrich your life, and to save a pet’s life. Pet parents already enjoy that special love that bonds you and your pets — so much so that you may be considering adopting another pet into your family.
But there are things to think about before making the commitment to an additional pet. Of course, your choice to adopt will hopefully bring many years of happiness, both for you and your pet. In order to make that happen, there are some things to consider.
To adopt another, or not to adopt another
The more the merrier, as the old saying goes. That could hold true for a household of pets, but it all depends on your pet.
Dogs and cats are naturally social animals, and they typically enjoy the company of others (especially you, the pet parent). Having a playmate can give your pet more exercise and stimulation, as well as a way to interact in a way he can’t with you. Kittens especially do best in pairs.
But sometimes a pet isn’t willing to share his territory, or even you. Your current pet might get along with others, just not everyone. The good news is you may know more than you think. Your pet’s past relationships can offer hints as to how he will react to a new companion.
Ask these questions:
These are general “rules of paw” to ask yourself in the preliminary stages of your search. But nothing is absolute because every pet and situation is different.
Never underestimate the power of a professional
One of the best things you can do is consult a professional about relationship advice. Your local animal welfare organizations will often have the expertise on-hand to give you advice on adding to your fur-family. Their knowledge of their adoptable pets could also help figure out the best match for your pet.
Do you already have a particular pet in mind? Your local animal welfare organization could have the resources you need to help get the pets acquainted.
Expect the pet bill to double
As a pet parent, you already have a good idea of how much it costs to take care of your 4-legged friend. But could you afford it if those costs were to double? Here are the biggest costs to keep in mind:
If you’re looking to adopt another dog, you’ll want to consider the size of the dog when calculating the new cost of food. A dachshund will eat far less than a Great Dane. Cats will typically eat the same amount.
You should also keep in mind your new pet might not eat the same type of food as your current pet. The newcomer might require senior formula, or she might have an allergy that requires a special type of food.
So you’ve decided to adopt another. Now what?
Once again, each pet is unique and will behave differently in a new meeting situation. There are, however, some very basic tips to getting your current and new pet acquainted.
Safety is the bottom line
Safety for your current pet, and you, should be your top priority when deciding whether or not to adopt another. Choosing not to adopt another pet may be a responsible move if she won’t fit with your current family.
We all love pets, and many of us want to do all we can to help those without homes. But it won’t make a difference if it’s not a safe, comfortable home for everyone.