Responsible Pet Ownership
There are many things that you need to consider throughout
the life of your pet. Many are initial decisions prior
to adopting a pet. This information is organized chronologically.
Before you bring a pet home --
You need to make sure you are physically, mentally, and financially prepared to take on the responsibility of owning a pet. The commitment is very long term (approximately 10-15 years) and should not be made lightly. If you are not completely sure you can physically handle the exercise needs, mentally handle the ongoing training and possible behaviour issues, or the financial costs of not only annual maintenance, but potential non-routine medical needs, you may want to reconsider bringing home a new pet. Click here to see the costs of annual maintenance.
Look closely at your surroundings. You need to consider what environment you will be bringing the dog into, and if it is an environment that will allow the dog to be a successful family member. Things to consider:
- How many hours a day will the dog be alone? Do you travel often?
- How will the dog get exercise and get mental stimulation?
- How will you handle normal issues such as barking, chewing, housebreaking, marking, nipping, jumping up, and digging?
- Do you have roomates, children, or other pets? How will they work with a new pet? Will they assist or inhibit training?
- Do you plan on having children soon and if so, how will you introduce your pet? Will you have enough time for both? Are you willing to work with your pet prior to the baby's arrival to properly prepare them? Dogs and Storks is a program specifically designed to help people make this transition.
- Does anyone in the home have allergies or asthma that would be affected by pet hair and/or dander?
Many people do not realize how much BSL (Breed Specific Legislation) there is or how it affects them. You should check with all of the following that apply:
- Landlord -- Does your landlord accept pets? Do they have limitations on age, weight, or breed?
- Homeowners Association -- Many HOA's have breed restrictions. If you are looking at purchasing property, check the HOA regulations before you buy!!
- Insurance -- Many renter/homeowners insurance agencies have breed restrictions. If you have the option, call the corporate customer service number instead of your agent and ask if they have breed restrictions. Insurance is easy to change, but you have to be willing to do it, if you want to avoid jeopardizing your coverage. You can get more general information on varied insurance stances here.
- Local regulations -- Be sure to check out the regulations for your area. Some municipalities restrict the ownership of certain breeds and others charge annual registration fees. You can look here www.municode.com. Scroll to the bottom and choose searchable online databases. Choose your state and county or city. Choose the animals listing (you may need to use the search engine to locate them) Click here: Municode.com |Online Library