"Adopt an Animal       

                 Gain a Friend"



About Us
Animals to Adopt
How You Can Help
Spay & Neuter
Pet Health
Pet Behavior
Feral Cats
Animal-Friendly Housing
Your Pet's Future
Allergies to Pets
Did You Know
Speaker's Podium
Web Master
Make A Donation


Be sure to check our current pictures of animals awaiting adoption!.


Prepared for Committment


Are you prepared for the commitments that having a new pet will require?

No matter what type, age or temperament of pet you decide to adopt, you will need to devote time, money, patience and commitment to building the new relationship.  Again, what you put into the relationship will determine what type of relationship you will have with your little buddy for years to come.

There are many commitments that need to be made to a new pet.  Also, different pets will require different levels of commitment.  Being prepared for what will be needed as part of the commitment and choosing the animal that will best match the commitment level that you have to offer will start you off on the road toward building this precious relationship with a new pet.

What are the commitments involved with adopting a new pet?:

1.  Lifetime Commitment    When you adopt a new pet you make a commitment to a lifetime of responsible care.  Companion animals can live 10, 15 and even 20 or more years.  If you are not willing to commit to this animal for his entire life then you should not adopt an animal.

2.   Time    Having a good relationship with your little buddy takes time.  You should plan to spend at least 15 minutes per day with each animal giving him companionship and play time.  It will also take an extra dose or two of time at the start of the relationship.

3.  Exercise    Dogs need exercise and bathroom breaks.  Consider whether you have the time to walk your dog several times per day.  Do you have a fenced yard where your dog can go outside and be safe?  Remember that, for a dog, having a yard does not take the place of having a relationship with you.  Even dogs with big yards need walks, play time and time with their humans.

4.  Money   Having a pet requires money.  You can estimate that you will need to spend about $350 to $500 per year for each pet.  Money is required for food, routine and emergency veterinary expenses, litter, licensing, dog sitters (if needed), toys, cat scratch posts, etc.

5.  Training  Dogs and, yes, even cats can be trained.  In fact, if you want the best relationship possible with your little buddy you will need to devote time to training.  In this way, you and your animal friend will build a relationship that works for both of you.  A dog that learns how to interact with humans and with other dogs will have a more enjoyable life.  Just like children, pets enjoy and function best when they know the best way to behave.  All training should be done in a compassionate way that is built upon positive reinforcement.  (See the “Training Your Pet” section on this web site.)  Training your pet will take an initial investment of time, patience and possible money, but it will pay off many times over with a well-behaved and enjoyable pet.

6.  Adding to your animal family    If you already have companion animals at home and would like to add another to your family, be prepared to devote time and patience to the introductory period.  This is a crucial time.  If you do it right, you will increase your chances of  having a happy, harmonious animal family.

7.  Responsibility    Adopting a pet means becoming a responsible guardian for that life.  These responsibilities include daily food, exercise and love, as well as regular and emergency veterinary care.  You will need to license your friend as required by your local laws.  Spaying and neutering are crucial for both the good health of your companion animal as well as for limiting the pet overpopulation problem which results in the euthanasia of millions of unadopted animals.

8.  Unavoidable problems  Be prepared for unavoidable problems.  Expecting the unexpected will make having a pet more enjoyable and less stressful.  Expect that puppies will have accidents.  Your new puppy may also very well chew up something that you did not want destroyed.  Your new cat may not know where it can and cannot scratch in your house.  Your cat will probably throw up on your carpet occasionally.  Your cat may someday not realize that urinating on your new pillow is not the best way to keep everyone else away from “his” new pillow.  Knowing that that your new friend does not know that you consider these things “misbehaving” and knowing how to kindly and effectively substitute more appropriate behavior is your responsibility and is crucial to maintaining your good and loving relationship with your little buddy.



Copyright © [2003]  [Little Buddies Adoption and Humane Society].