This week, on Yahoo Parenting, there was a very entertaining article published, titled Here’s What It Costs to Own All the Pets Your Kid Says They Want. The article originally appeared on Fatherly (a great site for dads, by the way!), and it was packed with the humor that we’ve come to expect from this blog. The underlying message, however, was extremely relevant to both parenting and pet ownership.
All too often, people dive into adopting a pet without much thought, because let’s face it – pets truly are a joy to have around. That constant companionship comes at a price, though, and it’s more than monetary overhead. They require your time and energy, more than anything… and when they’re babies, they require an ungodly amount of patience.
Life after pet adoption is entirely different. You’ll never take a last minute road trip with your best pals again… not unless your pup is welcome to tag along. Feel like skipping out on housekeeping duties this week? Give it a shot! Let’s see how long you can live with that neglected litter box.
The article on Fatherly is absolutely a fun and worthwhile read, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re considering pet adoption, definitely check it out, but use it as a jumping point. Think about the situation from all angles. Remember that pets will often hang around for more than a decade, so you’ll need to think about where you see yourself in ten years. If you’re in your early twenties, do you suppose you’ll have children in the next decade? If so, owning a high maintenance senior pet might conflict with the endless responsibilities that come along with caring for a newborn. On the other hand, if you’re planning to adopt a puppy for your child who will hopefully be heading off to college at some point during the animal’s lifespan, who will be responsible for the care of the pet when that happens? These are the types of circumstances that land well-behaved, loving senior pets in shelters across the country.
Every situation is different, but the fact remains that the cost of pet ownership goes way beyond the cost of feeding and semi-annual wellness exams. Be sure to do your research, consider your own circumstances and plans for the future, and be fair in your decision to adopt your next family member. Taking a pet home is a lifetime commitment.