Quiz: Are you ready to be a Pet Parent?

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5-year-old Cockapoo, Macy, enjoying some time outdoors. ( Photo by Cassidy Conrad)

Thinking about becoming a pet owner?  Take this quiz to see how ready you really are, and get some helpful suggestions about pet parenthood. Get your virtual pens ready!

 

Question 1: On average, much time do you spend at home?

A: Most of the day OR live with others who can be there when you are not

B: At least half of the day whenever school or work is over

C: A few hours before and a few hours after going to sleep

D: Sometimes stay out late/ overnight without coming home OR travel frequently throughout the year

Different pets require different amounts of attention and daily care. Before deciding what pet to buy it is important to consider your daily schedule, activity level, and how much time you are willing to provide to tending to the needs of your pet.

Question 2: What kind of living space do you have?

A: In a house with plenty of outdoor space

B: An apartment with some outdoor grassy spaces

C: An apartment downtown or have no outdoor space

D: On campus or are not allowed to have pets 

Different pets and breeds handle space differently. Larger pets, or those with more energy, require more space to exercise and feel comfortable in their surroundings. Not having enough space may cause them stress that may lead them to misbehave or chew up valuables to help themselves cope. Other pets are content living in small areas and have no problems in small spaces, they may even prefer it, because it provides a sense of safety.

Question 3: Who else is living with you?

A: Others who are ready to take care of a pet with you, and you already have a pet that is friendly to other animals

B: Others who are ready and prepared to take care of a pet with you. No current pets.

C: Others who won’t mind having a pet OR live on your own

D: Others who have allergies to certain pets OR pets who don’t get along with other animals well

Your living arrangements is one of the most important factors you must consider beforehand to ensure a positive transition into pet parenthood. Having others there to support you and your pet if needed is ideal. If your housemates do not enjoy pets or are allergic, it could cause problems with their comfort and cause hostility towards you and your pet. It is equally important to consider, if applicable, how your existing pets handle being around other animals. Some can be hostile and attack newer animals and seriously hurt them, so if your pet suffers from extreme “only child syndrome” it’s probably not in anyone’s best interests to introduce a new pet.

Question 4: How much money do you have saved up for possible expenses for your pet?

A:  Over $1000 in a savings/ credit account 

B: Over $500

C: Over $250

D: Less than $250 

Pets are not only time-consuming and require space; they are expensive! According to the Sacramento Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals  (SSPCA) the estimated cost for a dog is $6,960 and $7,460 for cats. Each year the average pet owner will spend around $1,000 a year on their pet. This accounts for food, vet bills, grooming, vaccinations, licensing and household items such as litter boxes or kennels.

Question 5: How long have you been considering adopting a new pet?

A: A few months AND have previous pet ownership experience

B: Over a month AND have done research on animals and places to adopt

C: A few weeks after seeing a friend enjoying their new pet

D: On a whim while petting a cute animal at a shelter and looking into their  cute little eyes.

Pet ownership should never be on an impulse. It is easy to fall in love with a cute fluffy animal and want to take it home without really considering all of the aspects, good and bad, that go into this lifelong decision. It is not fair to the animal if they are neglected, abandoned or abused because of an impulse decision that wasn’t considered fully.

Now tally up your answers.
Mostly A’s : You are fully prepared to own a new pet.

You have the finances, space, support, knowledge, and time to commit to pet. If you are looking for an energetic friend, try athletic breeds of dogs such as: Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, Spaniels, Russell Terriers and Huskies.

Mostly B’s: You are ready to adjust to a new pet.

You have almost everything your furry friend could need. Depending on your answers you may just need to adjust to accommodate them. Some moderate activity breeds of cats and dogs include: Abyssinians, American Shorthairs, Siberians, Chihuahuas, Bulldogs, Shar-Peis, Dachshunds and Pomeranians.

Mostly C’s: You might be ready to own a pet.

Owning a high-maintenance pet is definitely not going to fit into your lifestyle without some major adjustments. Consider owning a low maintenance animal such as a cat that doesn’t need to be walked, let outside or have specific feeding times. Some great low-maintenence breeds of cats include: Persians, British Shorthairs, Ragdolls, Russian Blues and Scottish Folds.

Mostly D’s: You should reconsider owning a pet.

Your lifestyle does not allow you to have the time, space, finances or living arrangements that allow for healthy pet ownership. Not everyone is meant to be a pet parent, but if you are really wanting to feel like a pet owner there are some great options to get you started such as: rodents, reptiles, fish, visiting a friend’s pet or playing virtual pet games on your phone.

Sources: Purina: Dog Breed Selector, Purina: Cat Breeds and Sacramento Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Adoption Article :”Things to Consider Before Getting a Pet”

 

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