While the idea of adopting a new furry friend into your family may seem a bit daunting, it can actually have a huge positive effect on you and your entire family. Pets are great companions – they can help you stay happy, active and even have therapeutic effects on all members of the family. So while making the decision to adopt a new pet is a little scary, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.

To ensure that this new adoption into the family goes as well as possible, it’s important that both you and your family are sufficiently prepared for it. Preparing for the new pet can take time – depending on what type of animal you choose to adopt – but it is definitely worth it, as it will make everything much easier on everyone in the household.

Pets, Pets, Pets

Responsibilities of a new pet

Before you and the family can enjoy the many benefits that come with a new pet in the family, it’s essential that the responsibilities are made clear to everyone, especially the kids. There are only too many stories where a pet is adopted, and the kids are excited at first, but then they soon get over the initial excitement and no one is willing to help out.

A pet is a life-long responsibility, so it’s highly important that everyone in the family is aware of the on-going work involved with keeping the pet. The responsibilities involved will depend on the type of pet you adopt, for example – for cats, their kitty litter will need to be changed regularly. For dogs, they will need to be walked daily and may also require dog behaviour modification training. For smaller pets, they will need their cage cleaned regularly.

So before you adopt a pet, make sure you have a sit down with the family and talk about everything involved with it. If you get the impression that your children will only be interested for the first few days of the pet arriving, it may be best to reconsider adopting.

Budgeting for a pet

Another important factor to consider when adopting a pet is whether you have the funds for it or not. Even if you adopt a dog from a local animal shelter, there are still on-going costs involved with keeping the pet happy and healthy.

The budget and funds you need for a pet will depend on what type of pet you want to adopt. While pets like mice, rabbits and fish are fairly inexpensive to care for, other animals like cats and dogs require more of a budget.

When you sit down with your family to discuss the responsibilities of looking after a pet, you may want to create a budget and checklist too. Write down all of the costs involved with looking after a pet, including food, toys, bedding as well as vet costs, such as de-sexing, micro-chipping shots.

You may also want to consider pet insurance, as this can help to prevent expensive bills that may arise if your pet was to ever get sick.