Evidently puppy love is in there air because the new year has a lot of my friends and family members welcoming pets into their hearts.  Maybe you are in similar position; either considering a new addition or bringing home your first fur-baby?  There is a lot to understand before you make a commitment to an animal, and Wisconsin Pet Care’s five-part blog series will help you prepare for a whole bunch of tail-wagging fun!  We’ll start this week by determining whether you are ready for a new pet.


It’s easy to say that puppy and kitten faces are not a hard sell – their whiskered enthusiasm has a way of creeping into even the grumpiest of hearts.  Unfortunately, far too many dogs and cats are abandoned or neglected after their owners find out that pet maintenance is a lot of responsibility.  We cannot stress enough the importance of thorough contemplation before adopting a pet.


Are You Ready For Adoption? — take this quick quiz and find out!


1) Do you have the time?  Puppies and kittens, especially, require a lot attention (even more so than their older counterparts).  If you are often away from home, it may be best to wait on adopting a pet until you have more time available. If you can’t wait, Wisconsin Pet Care will be happy to become your pet sitter of choice and we have a quickie service starting at just $15 per visit!


2) Do you have the means?  The first few months of pet ownership are the most expensive as there are vaccinations and spay/neuter surgeries to consider.  However, every animal will require a yearly wellness exam, in tandem with booster shots, at the very minimum. This is assuming that your pet remains healthy – chronic ailments will naturally be more costly.  Tack on the price of a healthy diet, toys and other pet needs – you’ll notice that owning a pet is an investment (though it will be one of the most fulfilling you’ve ever made).  The ASPCA estimates that cat ownership costs roughly $1000 per year, while dogs are a little more expensive at up to $1800 per year (depending on the breed).


3) Do you have patience?  Behavioral issues are some of the most common reasons why shelters see pet adoptions fall through.  Before you adopt a dog or cat, get to know common traits (such as cats using their nails to scratch and dogs barking to get your attention).  Most unfavorable behaviors can be modified, but they will require training through patience and persistence.


4) Are you in it for the long haul?  Dogs can live up to 15 years, and cats can live up to 20 years – heck, even a well-cared for goldfish can live at least a decade! Do you have time time and means to go through training classes with your new puppy-obedience all the way to canine good citizen?


5) Does your new companion possess traits that coincide with your lifestyle? 


If you’re unsure, or just want to  know which pet is the right fit, you’ll want to check back next week as Wisconsin Pet Care continues its adoption series.  We’ll uncover the pros and cons of both dog and cat ownership, as well as the characteristics of some of the most popular breeds.