Is it time to grow your pet family? Here are the top 8 things to ask yourself before you begin the search for your next family member.
- Why do you want another pet? Really think about the reason you're considering adding a new cat or dog. Is it because you're looking for another pet to love and to have another companion? Is it to give your pet a new best friend? Those are some great reasons to bring a new pet home. Or are you hoping that adding a pet means they'll tire each other out? This may not necessarily happen and you will now have two pets to entertain at the end of the day. Whatever your reason, make sure that you are ready to make another commitment for life.
- Can you afford another pet? Growing your family means likely doubling every pet related expense you currently have. Will you be able to afford to care for both of them if you have an unexpected expense or one of the pets has an emergency? Pet insurance can help cover the costs associated with any accident or illness that arises with either pet.
- Will you be able to spend individual time with each animal and with them collectively? Remember pet two will have to be trained just like pet one, even if they are an older animal. Plan to spend extra time with them during this transition period, and then begin to spend time with them together as well as individually.
- Does your pet want a new friend? Think about your pet's personality. Are they dominant and attention-seeking or would they likely be willing to share their time and space with a new addition? Consider the species and breed of both pet one and pet two to see if their personalities would make a good match.
- Can you handle more hair? Unless you have a non-shedding breed, adding another animal can mean double the grooming and cleanup.
- Is your current pet well behaved? If you’re having training or behavioral issues with pet number one, this may not be the best time to add another animal into the mix.
- Are you committed to a precision introduction process? Cats need a full month to be introduced to a new pet in the household. Adding a second dog is a little easier, but still requires additional supervision during this time.
- Do you have a plan if pet two doesn’t mix with pet one? Do you have a plan for re-homing your new pet if it’s not a good fit for your family? Many breeders require you to return the animal to them while policies at adoption agencies can vary.
Multi-pet households can be lots of fun for you and your current pet, but take the time to ask yourself these questions. Once you do, you'll know if you're really ready to open your door and your heart again.