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Time for a new pet? Think it through!

Bringing home a new family member is a fun, exciting experience!  At TOPS, we want to make sure both you and your new fur-baby build a happy and successful relationship, right from the start.  We’ve got ten questions for you to consider before committing to a new member of the household.IMG_3320

Why do you want a pet?

Many people don’t ask themselves this question before they get a pet. Adopting an animal because of a chance encounter at the shelter or because the kids have been pining for a puppy often ends up being a big mistake. Don’t forget that pets may be with you 10, 15, even 20 years.

Do you have time for a pet?

You can’t ignore your dogs, cats, or other animal companions when because you’re tired or busy. They need food, water, exercise, care, and love each and every day. Many animals are in the shelter because their owners didn’t realize how big the commitment was.

Can you afford a pet?

Licenses, training, spaying and neutering, veterinary care, grooming, toys, food, kitty litter, and other expenses add up quickly.

Can you deal with the challenges?

Flea infestations, scratched furniture, accidents while housebreaking, and medical emergencies are all possible.

Can you have a pet where you live?

Many landlords don’t allow pets, and most rental communities have restrictions. In addition, certain types of dogs (e.g. pit bulls, rottweilers, Doberman pinschers, etc.) are often excluded from homeowner insurance policies.

Is it a good time for you to adopt a pet?

Are you a student, in the military, or travel frequently?  Maybe you should wait until you settle down. Do you have small kids? You might want to wait till they are old enough to play nice with a cat of dog.

Is your home suitable for the animal you have in mind?

Size is not the only thing to think about here. Some small dogs, such as terriers, are very active and require a great deal of exercise to be calm, they often bark at any noise. On the other hand, some big dogs are laid back and quite content to lie on a couch all day. Before adopting, do your research—surf the Internet, talk to pet-owning friends and neighbors, and use shelter staff as a resource.

Will you be a responsible pet owner?

Have your pet spayed or neutered, obey leash and licensing laws, and keep ID tags on your pets. These are part of being a responsible owner. Of course, giving your pet love, exercise, a healthy diet, and regular veterinary care are also essential.

Who will care for your pet while you’re away on vacation?

You’ll need either reliable friends and neighbors or money to pay for a boarding kennel or pet-sitting service.

Are you prepared to keep and care for your pet for the long haul?

You are making a long-term commitment to care for an animal. That said, good people sometimes find themselves in situations where they can’t keep their pets. If this should happen you need to actively work at finding a new home for your pet.

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