5 Essential Questions to Ask Before You Buy or Adopt a Pet in Castle Rock
May 19th, 2014 by Cherished Companions Animal Clinic
Ah, it’s that time of year when you can’t help but notice pet adoption events taking place across Castle Rock, Colorado.
But if you’re about to find yourself with a wiggly puppy in your arms or a cuddly kitten purring in your ear, there are five essential questions to ask yourself before you buy or adopt a pet. With a little forethought, you can choose a great dog or cat for your family, ensuring you and your pet will be very happy together.
Question #1: Which dog or cat is right for your daily lifestyle?
Every breed of dog and cat has unique needs, activity levels and behaviors. Ideally, before you buy or adopt a pet in Castle Rock, you want to ensure you’re choosing the right breed for your family. Think about your lifestyle:
- Are you active or more sedentary?
- How much time will you be able to spend with your pet?
- Do you prefer a lower or higher maintenance animal?
- Do you have young children?
The answers to these questions can play a big role in choosing the right pet for your family.
For example, if you live in a small apartment and like to relax in front of the TV, you may be a great match for a lap cat or a less active dog, such as a Pug or Bulldog. (An energetic Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever or Border Collie is probably not a good match.)
If you’re active and love outdoor activities in Colorado, such as hiking or trail running, you may want to consider an active dog breed that thrives on physical activity.
Herding dogs are popular in Castle Rock. If you have young children, a herding breed may be great for protecting your kids. With that said, because they’re naturally protective, this dog may not do as well around the other children in the neighborhood.
Long hair cats, such as Persians, are beautiful, but they require daily brushing, starting at a young age. Are you ready for that type of daily commitment?
All good things to consider!
(Check out the resources at the end of this article for more on this topic.)
Question #2: Can you afford a dog or cat?
The costs of owning a pet can add up quickly: food, pet health care, pet supplies, grooming and more.
If you’re trying to set a budget for your pet care, we advise putting aside $1/day for food and $2 to $3/day to cover your pet’s routine healthcare needs (exams, vaccinations, teeth cleanings, medications, neuters, spays, etc.).
This budget should cover the majority of your pet’s healthcare needs each year, excluding major surgeries. And the years you don’t need as much for your pet’s care (often, ages three to seven years old), save that money for the years ahead.
One final tip, when you research dog and cat breeds, be sure to check out common ailments for your breed of choice, so you can plan ahead financially. Many purebred dogs and cats are prone to certain ailments. For example, labs are prone to hip dysplasia, and replacing a hip (or two) can be expensive.
Question #3: Do you have time and energy for a pet?
Puppies and kittens are like little children. They’re adorably cute… but they need your full attention, and at times, can be unintentionally destructive.
- Are you ready for life with a puppy or kitten… and all the chewing, clawing, accidents and attention that come with your little one?
- Do you have a lot of time to spend with your puppy or kitten?
- Are you willing to do the hard work to train your pet?
- Are you ready to go light on sleep for a while because your puppy needs to go out several times a night or kitten wants to play… at 3 am?
Adult dogs and cats are often a great fit for people with busier lifestyles. They tend to have a more mellow personality, fewer training and behavioral issues (assuming the pet was well trained when it was young) and less of a need for your hands-on attention.
Quite simply, how much time do you have to give, and what are you willing to endure? Choose the age of your pet accordingly.
Question #4: Are you ready to have a dog or cat in your house?
We’re going to explore how to get your house ready for a dog or cat in an upcoming blog article. Suffice to say, your leather furniture, wood floors and pristine yard may not be the same once you welcome a cat or dog to your family (and especially a puppy or a kitten). Are you ready for some wear and tear?
Question #5: And of course, are you ready to fall in love?
Buying or adopting a pet is a life-changing experience. We hope you’re ready for a whole new level of love and joy!
Other tips for adopting in Castle Rock:
- If you’re adopting your cat or dog from a rescue group or shelter, be sure to ask why the previous owner gave the pet up. Oftentimes, it’s because the owner didn’t have time to spend with that animal or train the pet properly. But sometimes, there are deeper behavioral issues. In asking the question, you can make a more informed adoption decision for your family.
- Take your new dog or cat to a veterinarian for a health checkup and to discuss any behavioral issues. Breeders and pet shops often require veterinary visits within 48 to 72 hours. (Check your contract.) Rescue groups and shelters often suggest a veterinary checkup within 14 days.
- The town of Castle Rock requires dogs and cats that are more than six months old to be licensed. (If you live outside town limits, Douglas County does not require a license.) The pricing varies, depending on whether your pet is spayed, neutered or neither. You can find the Castle Rock pet license application on the town of Castle Rock website.
Cherished Companions Animal Clinic is a veterinary clinic in Castle Rock, Colorado. Specializing in the care of dogs and cats, our goal is to help you and your pet feel more comfortable, keeping your stress to a minimum.
This article is intended to provide general guidance. If you have specific questions or concerns, please contact your local veterinarian. (If you live in or around Castle Rock, we welcome your call.)
Cherished Companions © 2014