Here at Kijiji, we love pets. The pets section has given many people the opportunity to re-home pets they can no longer care for, but we hope any pet re-homed once finds their forever family! The best way to ensure that you and the animal you bring into your life are a good fit is to do your research and consider the following factors beforehand:
Lifestyle – whether you prefer a night in snuggling on the couch, or like to spend your spare time doing sports, you want to make sure your choice of pet matches your lifestyle. If you like to go out after work frequently, that should definitely enter into your decision.
Living arrangements – do you live with room mates, family, or alone? If other people are living with you, how do they feel about a pet and taking on some of the responsibility? Allergies and schedules can also be big issues, and should be discussed beforehand, as the entire household should be on board for a new pet acquisition. How settled are you in your location? Some pets are stressed by frequent moves, and having certain pets can make finding new rentals more challenging in some areas. You also need to take into account what sort of outdoor space you have access to (balcony, fenced backyard, or a nearby park) and consider if they are appropriate for the species or breed that you are considering.
Time & Timing – the amount of time that different pets require every day varies. Consider carefully whether you actually have the spare time to devote to exercising, walking, training, and playing with the breed or animal that you are considering. Also think about how long you realistically can commit to having this amount of time free daily. A pet can be a major complication in future plans such as travel, so think long term when considering the future of pet ownership, including whether you are planning a family. If you know you want a baby soon, but don’t think you will be able to handle both, consider waiting until the timing is better for your family to adopt a pet.
Lifespan – how long does the pet you are considering live? Most cats and dogs live about 15 years, but some animals live even longer. Can you commit to caring for an animal for the next 15 years? If you can only be sure about the next 5 years, consider adopting a senior animal instead. There are many great pets available in shelters that may be overlooked due to their age.
Money – pets cost a lot of money. Do you have the funds to spay or neuter, and to stay up to date on vet visits and vaccines? The Calgary Humane Society reports that the average cost for dogs annually is $1,550 and the average for cats is $850 annually – and these numbers do not include the one time costs such as adoption fee, spaying, microchipping, and unforeseen large vet bills. If your animal has any destructive tendencies, that can also lead to many surprise costs as well. Do you have the money available for both the predictable and the unforeseen costs associated with pet ownership?
Handling – dogs can pull four times their body weight, and the largest breeds can overpower even the strongest people. If a large dog got into a fight or attacked a person or animal, it would be difficult or impossible to pull them off – do you have the knowledge and skill required to ensure that your pet is properly socialized and trained so they are not a nuisance or danger to others?
Personality – the personality of you (and any other co-adopters) should match the animal! If you are always on the go and exercising, an energetic companion will suit you. If you love to play, or prefer to stay in and snuggle, the best match will be an animal with similar preferences.
Source – you want to ensure that the animal has been properly cared for. Research the source of the pet as well as the breed to help avoid unpleasant health surprises later on. We recently partnered with the Ontario SPCA to create a video on safe pet adoption.
Pet ownership is extremely rewarding, but should never be entered into lightly. When you adopt an animal, think of it as gaining a new lifelong friend.