Thinking of Bringing a Pet Into Your Home? Here are a Few Considerations to Keep in Mind
I was sitting on the floor of the ASPCA’s cat room, just about to leave for the day and consider my options, when a tiny orange tabby came out from underneath the kennels and climbed on top of my shoulders. She looked at me with a tilted head and huge, Puss-in-Boots eyes, and it was sealed — she’d come home with me the next week.
That was 2019, and Coral and I have been inseparable ever since. Adopting a pet can bring such great joy, but should not be a decision taken lightly. So what exactly should you consider before you dive into the world of fur-parenthood? We talked to the folks at Hi-Tor Animal Care Center in Pomona to find out.
What are the most important things to consider when adopting an animal?
“When adopting a pet, it’s important to consider your lifestyle — do you want an active, high-energy pet? Or would you rather someone to share the couch with? Also consider your living situation to not only ensure that animals are allowed, but that you have enough space. It can also be helpful to have a conversation with other people in your household to divide responsibilities and establish who will be the primary caregiver.”
How much money and time should you expect to dedicate to a cat or dog?
“On average, cats cost $300-$700 per year for food, routine vet care, and other toys and supplies. Litterboxes should be cleaned daily, and cats should get at least 15 minutes of play time per day. Dogs average between $500-$2,500, without accounting for emergency vet care and any boarding or grooming needs. Dogs should be walked for about 15-20 minutes at least three times a day.”
When should you adopt a kitten or puppy vs. an older animal?
“While adorable, younger animals can be labor-intensive. If you have a lot of time to put into training and keeping up with high energy levels, a puppy or kitten may be a great fit. However, if you’re away from home for long hours and are always on-the-go, you may consider a senior animal. Both options are great — it’s just about finding the animal that will fit in with your lifestyle.”
How can you ensure a comfortable transition for your new friend?
“Quietness and consistency are very important in making an animal feel comfortable. You should establish a routine and also try to keep the environment as calm as possible. Giving them spaces where they can be alone if they become too overwhelmed with their new surroundings is also important. Above all, patience is key.”
How should you introduce your new pet to other animals in the home?
“When a new animal first arrives, separate them from other animals in the household. Providing separate areas will give them all space to remain calm and confident of their safety. Introduce the animals slowly, establishing a peaceful environment and rewarding calm behavior. With some time, they can develop a positive and loving relationship.”
Find more about Hi-Tor and pet adoption at: > hitor.org
Nikki Visciglia is a writer and artist born and raised in the Hudson Valley.