October is Adopt a Shelter Dog month and there’s no better time of year to adopt a new four-legged friend. Before you do, however, there are a number of important issues to consider and questions you should ask yourself. Adopting a dog is a huge, life long responsibility…but also a very rewarding one! We recommend you take a look at our article, “Adopt. Don’t Shop” from an edition of our Action Line magazine which walks you through the entire adoption process as experienced by Dustin Rhodes, FoA’s Development Director.

You can also check out the quick tips below for questions you should consider before you adopt a cat or dog!

1.     Do you have the space? Consider the size of your home or apartment. It should go without saying that a Bernese Mountain dog is not suitable for a studio apartment. Think about the size of your space and if you intend to stay there. You could be living in a spacious place now, but have to downsize later. Does your living space come with a backyard to play in and explore? Your living situation is a big component in your pet’s comfortability.

2.     What is your activity level like? Puppies and kittens are adorable, but they have a TON of energy. It can be exhausting just keeping up with them every day. If you lead a more laid-back lifestyle, opt to adopt an older animal with less energy than a puppy or kitten. If your lifestyle is active, a young animal might be a great companion to have.

3.     What’s your daily schedule like? Your lifestyle has a huge effect on your pet. If you’re away from home often, a dog isn’t the best pet choice. With a pet, your schedule is no longer yours. Feeding time, bathroom breaks and exercise must be incorporated into your daily routine. Not only that, but you will need to keep to the schedule to accommodate your pet’s needs.

4.     Can you afford a pet? Vet bills can be expensive. And necessary. If you can’t afford to take your pet to the vet, you can’t afford to have a pet. You need to factor in vet visits, heartworm pills, and any other necessary medicine, as well as the potential for emergency vet visits and surgeries. Before you adopt your pet, sit down and go through your monthly expenses and factor pet costs into your budget. You can also consider our low-cost spay and neuter certificate program which helps cover the cost of your cat or dog’s spay or neuter procedure.