Pets add fun, companionship and love to our lives, but they’re also a big responsibility. Choosing to add a pet to your family is a very important decision. They require time, energy and finances to thrive as part of your family. Sometimes, adopting a pet may be too much added pressure, especially if you’re experiencing other life-changes at the same time. The quiz below can help you assess if what’s happening in your life now, could make brining a new pet into your life not a good option.
Check the following events that have either occurred in your life in the past six months, or that you think may occur in the coming six months:
Divorce or end of a relationship
Change in living arrangements (new roommates or moving in with significant other)
Move to a new residence
Pregnancy or new baby
Longer hours or increased responsibility at work
Children leaving home or moving back home
Care-taking responsibilities for elderly or ill family member
Significant changes in family routine
Death of a family member
Death or disappearance of a family pet
Relinquishment of a pet (given away or brought to an animal shelter)
Significant health problems of a family member
Change in working status of a family member (begins work, changes jobs or retires)
Frequent travel, either for business or pleasure
Limited leisure or free time
Graduation from high school or college
Disagreement among family members about adopting a pet
Add one point for every pet you currently have (one aquarium counts as one pet).
0-3: Your life seems stable and predictable. Now is probably a reasonable time to acquire a pet.
4-6: You have a lot of responsibilities right now. Although adopting a pet may still work for you, a small pocket pet, an adult cat, or well-trained, adult dog would probably be more appropriate than a kitten, a puppy or an active breed of dog.
7-10: Think twice about adoption. With all the changes and responsibilities in your life right now, you may not have time to care for a new pet. It would probably be better for both you and the pet if you wait until your life settles down a bit.
10+: STOP! DON’T PASS GO!
Acquiring a pet now is not a wise decision. Why not consider sponsoring a shelter animal until you have more time and less stress in your life? This information is meant to only be used as a guide when adopting a pet. Every situation is different. However, it is important to remember – you are adding a family member.