Are you ready to take a new pet into your home, but you’re not sure whether or not you’re ready to adopt from a shelter? Do this quiz to get an idea of whether you’re ready to visit shelters now, or whether you should rather wait a while. Owning a pet comes with huge responsibilities and a long-term commitment, whether it is a shelter pet or one from a reputable breeder. You’ll have to take care of the animal for the rest of his life.
Do you have enough money to support a rescue pet?
- Absolutely, yes. My budget allows for quality food, vet expenses, medical insurance, toys, accessories and whatever else my new pet may need.
- I’ll have enough money at the end of the month to buy some food for my pet, and I might be able to pay for his other expenses, if I rework my budget a bit.
- Pets don’t cost that much. As long as I buy him food, he’ll be okay.
- Uhm, I have no idea what a pet costs.
Do you know what your responsibilities as a pet owner will be?
- It’s more than just providing food and shelter – it’s about attention, training, love and spending quality time with him. He needs to be happy.
- Yes, I can’t just leave my pet to his own devices. He needs proper care.
- It’s my responsibility to ensure that my pet is fed.
- No, not really. What are they?
Why do you want to adopt a rescue pet?
- Because I really want a new pet and I want to save a life at the same time, and I understand the possible challenges that might come with a rescue pet.
- Because I’ve seen a very cute doggy at a shelter.
- Everybody is doing it these days.
- Actually, I just want a pet.
How much do you know about pet behaviour?
- I understand that there may or may not be behavioural problems with a rescue pet, but then all pets might need to see a behaviourist at some point in their lives. I’ve read a lot about pet behaviour and know where to find help.
- If I don’t know what to do when a pet behaves inappropriately, I will consult a behaviourist.
- Cats and dogs are easy. They sleep most of the time anyway.
- I have no idea.
Do you have the patience to deal with a new pet?
- I understand what it takes to bring a new pet into my home.
- I understand that it will require some patience.
- I’m not a very patient person, but I will try.
- No, not really.
Is the entire family on board with the adoption?
- Yes, we’re all happy, and none of us has any allergies or reservations about getting a new pet.
- My spouse is not so sure, but my kids are excited.
- My family will learn to love the new pet.
- Who cares what the family thinks?
Are you willing to consider an older cat or dog?
- Yes, because they too can add joy to our family, and we can give them their best years for what is left of their lives. There are many benefits to adopting an older pet.
- No, not really. We’d prefer a puppy or a kitten.
- Definitely not.
- Who wants an older pet?
Do you have the means to train your pet, or to send him for training?
- We have the time and money, and know a very good training school that will assist us.
- I guess we can make a plan.
- Training will have to happen over weekends only.
- Don’t they come house trained?
Do you have a safe and secure garden, or are you prepared to ensure that he gets adequate exercise if you don’t have a garden?
- We have a garden that is safe, and we will take him for walks every day.
- I don’t have a garden, but will take him for walks now and then.
- I have a garden, but it’s not fenced at all.
- No, not really.
Are you ready to share your house with a pet, and willing to clean up his hair, toys and accidents?
- We are ready and will clean up every day; we’ll even wash his bowls after every meal.
- Yes, I guess we will clean up regularly.
- Aren’t they supposed to stay outside during the day?
- No, I can’t deal with pet fur on my furniture or on my clothes.
What your score means
Add up all your 1s, 2s, 3s and 4s to see how you have scored.
You understand the financial implications and responsibilities involved in adopting a pet from a shelter. You also have the necessary time and resources to train your cat or dog, and to give them the attention that they need. You’re in the ideal position to find a reputable animal shelter close to you and begin your search for your new pet.
You understand that there is a huge responsibility involved in taking care of an animal for the rest of his life, and you’re working very hard to create the ideal environment, but you’re not quite ready for the big commitment yet. Take your time and get everything in order in your life, but don’t stop dreaming.
Before you take this big step, you might want to do some more research about the responsibilities involved in adopting a pet. Speak to shelters and pet owners to get a good idea of what the commitment of being a pet owner really entails.
Being a pet owner is not for you at the moment. It sounds like perhaps you just want to adopt a pet because it is trendy, so maybe you should rather get a stuffed toy animal for now. You need to do a lot more research to see what would be involved before you adopt a new pet.