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Thinking Of Adopting a New Pet? There Are a Few Things You Need To Consider!

Updated: Jan 30

This is a subject I don't talk about lightly.

Why? Because there are dozens of factors to analyze before adopting a pet.

Whether that be a bird, a dog, fish, cat, horse or lizard.

NEVER let it be an impulse decision, especially when you have a family and small children, travel a lot, work long hours, etc.

Ask yourself:

  • What pet do I choose?

  • What breed of dog fits well with my personality?

  • Is my house big enough?

  • Should I have a veterinarian lined up?

  • Can I commit time daily to training and socializing?

  • Where will I find an adoptable pet?

  • Are there hazards in my home that could harm my new kitten?

  • Will my older dog accept a new puppy?

  • Who will take care of my pet when I go on vacation?

  • What financial options do I have if an emergency arises?


Impulse Buying:

Pets for Children

Impulse buying typically happens around the holidays or birthdays when parents want to 'gift' their child a puppy or kitten.

Keep in mind, a child cannot, and should not, bare all the responsibility of the pet. It is YOUR responsibility as a parent.

Pocket pets like hamsters and guinea pigs are a GREAT start to test the readiness of a child and expose them to the responsibility of caring for an animal.

Cleaning cages, changing bedding, making time to play, feeding, etc. It still is a lot of work, but less to handle than a dog or cat.

Animals are FANTASTIC for the growth and development of children and there are many proven benefits:

  • Build immune system!

  • Creates self esteem

  • Teaches compassion

  • Encourage physical exercise

  • Teaches budgeting (if old enough)

  • Encourages Loyalty

For more information on safety/ education for families with children, please see more about Pawsitively Safe.


Impulse Buying:

Pets for Adults

I've also seen adults dive into pet ownership during this recent pandemic.

Everyone is home from work, bored, events are cancelled and it seems like there's nothing to do.

And while I absolutely love that dogs and cats are finding new homes...

We must ask: did we take into account what life will be like after this is all said and done with?!

If our lives were too busy for a pet before all this, will we be too busy after?


Lifelong Commitment

Bringing animals into our home shouldn't be a placeholder for loneliness, unemployment and boredom.

They are a lifelong commitment.

Impulse buying pets is a serious problem, no matter the time of year.

Some pets can live for 15 years or more!

It's definitely a huge factor to consider.

Yes, even we have made this mistake before.


A Deeper Dive Into Pet Care

You may think you're ready for a new addition, I encourage you to make a list of the following:


Perhaps the most important aspect! We must always sit down and evaluate a budget when choosing a pet as well. This is HUGE. And I cannot stress it enough.

Maybe you've been enticed by a "Free kitten" .... Don't forget to factor in food, medications, veterinary checkups, and having money in savings for any emergency visits such as a broken leg or foreign body obstruction. 

I have been on the front lines watching owners make the decision to euthanize their pet, because they couldn't afford medical care.... Whether it was an acute illness, sudden injury, or even a chronic disease. 

And I understand, life happens. I never know what any particular person is going through. And I try not to make judgment on their decisions. Finances can be tough one to talk about, but it must be done.

One large and very important point I want to make; if you can't afford the adoption fee, you likely can't afford routine care that is needed. Too often, folk will jump at the chance for a free pet (I HATE shelter 2-for1's and giveaways. It sets up a bad situation for impulse buying and not factoring in the important issue of financial costs down the road.


Medical expenses may include:

Broken legs, foreign body, poisoning, lab work, medications, ear infections, etc. 

You need to plan for unexpected veterinary expenses.

I cannot stress this enough.  

This includes regular/ routine care, and even emergency visits for injury or illness.


Choosing a pet that is appropriate for your work schedule, family size, activity level and lifestyle needs is not something that is always considered. Maybe you travel a lot. Training is factored into this category. A major (and often overlooked) part of pet ownership!

Living arrangements:

Do you live in a high-rise apartment? Or on 10 acres of land in the country? Does your townhouse in a busy city allow pets?


Are you laid back and easy going? Or do you have a firm hand and hold your own? German Shepherds are not for the average softy and will need a strong leader.


Do you have an infant? Toddler? Teenager?

Are they ready for a pet? Do you need to implement safety measures for the crawling baby?

Adoption, Breeder or Rescue:

Depending on where you get a pet, prices and needs will vary.

A pet may be cheaper through a rescue, but they may come with special needs or trauma from previous abuse situations.

Breeders can be very expensive, and must be heavily researched to ensure good breeding practices and genetics.


A dog might look cute, but don't go grabbing that fluffy little mini Australian Shepherd when you work 10 hour days and have 3 kids... I can guarantee you're going to have a terrible time.

Certain breeds, such as Bulldogs, are very prone to allergies and skin conditions and are not a breed to even be considered if you are on a tight budget.

You must also look at the commitment of certain behavioral tendencies and training requirements.

If you aquire a mixed breed dog, consider doing a DNA & Health Test to see which breed(s) your dog is, and what health conditions they are susceptible to, so you can be best prepared!

Seniors citizens who are less mobile and/ or cannot drive may want to take into consideration grooming needs of the animal. If a dog needs regular upkeep on their coat, that breed may not be the best choice.

Age of animal:

Puppies require extra time and attention! Potty trianing, kennel training, frequent vet visits, behavioral training, and more! You may need gates in your home as well.

Senior pets will require extra accomodations like non-slip floor rugs, and doggie stairs by the bed. Older animals may also have health consitions, and medications.

If you adopt an adult dog or cat, consider getting an age test done so you can provide the best care for their individual needs and lifestyle.


Needing Extra Guidance & Support?

Does all of this sound overwhelming?!

It's not enough to just have the food and bed ready when you bring a new animal home. You MUST consider all aspects of care.

Don't worry. I'm here to help! I want you and your family to be successful on the journey to new pet ownership!

With a Pre-Adoption Consultation, you will receive a full report on all my recommemdations of what to consider before adoption.

I will meet with you and ask many questions to evaluate what pet fits your lifestyle and budget needs and what changes you might need to implement before bringing a new pet into your home.



Since there are dozens of essentials that will need to be purchased before you bring home your new companion;

Bed, leash, litter boxes, food, toys, grooming supplies and MORE.....

You will receive a FREE New Pet Budget Plan Handout!

This contains pricing estimates and frequency of buying for dozens of pet products and various other expenses that you may encounter as a pet owner.

A simplified version of this list is available in The Wellness Library!


Making the decision

You may feel lost, confused or overwhelmed with the thought of getting a new pet.

Maybe you're even excited but want to make sure you start off on the best path you can when welcoming a new pet into your home!

This is where Happy Trails Pets comes in!

Making the decision to adopt a pet is something I take very seriously. It's not enough to just provide food and shelter.

We must account for all lifestyle factors in order to provide pets, and ourselves with a successful and fulfilling adoption to avoid neglect and/ or re-surrender of the animal.

Not sure if it'll be a good fit for your family?

I'd be happy to guide you and be a part of this amazing journey, because I want you and your family to have Happy Trails! 🌄


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