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Are You Ready for a Lifelong Commitment? - Petsy

Are You Ready for a Lifelong Commitment?

Every pet who is well looked after lives anywhere between 10 to 20 years old, depending on their breed, lifestyle, diet, and stress levels. 

If you are still deciding on whether or not to adopt, here are a few FAQs that might help you with that life-changing decision -

1. How long do adopted dogs live? 

Dogs adopted from shelters are often Indies or mixed breed dogs. Such dogs are known to be hardier, less susceptible to illnesses, and more long-lived than bred dogs simply because they are genetically healthier. Such dogs live anywhere between 10 to 15 years.

2. How long do adopted cats live? 

Like dogs, cats adopted from shelters are Indies or mixed breeds. These cats live anywhere between 14 to 18 years of age. 

3. How do I make myself ready for a lifelong commitment? 

Step 1 - Assess

Before you decide to adopt, ask yourself these 3 questions to assess your situation -

  1. Do you have the time, energy, and necessary help to fully commit to raising a pet - this includes daily exercise, on-time feeding, training and cleaning. 
  2. Are you financially ready to raise a pet - this includes veterinary bills, food bills, supplies’ bills, external help fees (sitters, trainers, and cleaners) 
  3. Are you mentally ready to take on the responsibility of caring for a pet? 

Step 2 - Inspect 

Before you decide to adopt, ask yourself these 3 questions to inspect your lifestyle and living situation -

  1. Does my home have enough space for the animal I’m going to adopt?
  2. Am I willing to dog-proof/cat-proof my home? 
  3. Are the people in my house mentally and physically ready for the responsibility of a new pet at home? This includes, but not limited to, daily feeding, exercising, playing, training, and cleaning. 

Step 3 - Re-think

If you think you’ve cleared the first two steps, here’s your last step to re-think -

  1. How many hours will my pet be left alone? Dogs cannot be left alone for more than 4 hours at a stretch whilst cats cannot be left alone for more than 6 hours at a stretch. 
  2. Do I have other pets at home that may be uncomfortable by the presence of my new pet? If yes - Have I thought through how I’m going to make both feel comfortable without either party feeling stressed, anxious, or nervous?

Step 4 - Decide

Once you’ve decided to adopt, it will be beneficial or you to go through our New Pet Parent checklist to have everything ready before you welcome your new pet home. 

4. What if I’m not ready for a pet but I really want one?

In this case, you can try passive adoption. Passive adoption is where you donate, in cash or kind, to shelters or foster homes. You can choose the pet you wish to sponsor and pay for all his/her needs - food, toys, bed, bowls, treats etc. Although this isn’t quite like bringing a pet home, you know that somewhere you are making a big difference in the life of a homeless animal. 

Raising pets is a lifelong commitment requiring patience, time, and effort. Hence, you need to ask yourself - are you ready to spend the next 10-20 years of your life with a pet? 

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