6 Things To Do Before Adopting a Pet

Adopting a pet is a lot of work, but it can also be one of the best things to happen to you.

I adopted our cat, Toothless, almost a year ago and I can say he’s made our lives so much better. We get to come home to him chattering up a storm, cuddle him everyday and play with him (even when he gets the crazies). He’s a light in our lives.

But, adopting him forced us to change our habits. I said in one of my last posts don’t adopt a pet unless you’re ready to completely change your lives for them. And I stand by that. We can’t go out-of-town on a whim because we have to make sure he is taken care of. We can’t blow all our money on Amazon because we have to make sure he’s fed and cared for. We also have to make sure wherever we live he can live too.

So, my advice to you sisters, if you’re looking to adopt a pet make sure to:

consider your living situation

Where you live matters and you have to make sure if you’re adopting a pet that you can have a pet there. Does your lease allow for you to have pets? Will your roommates be okay with you having pets? Or, will you be moving to a place where pets are not an option? Think about all of these.

Make Sure You Can Afford Their Expenses

Pets are not free (even if you physically get them for free). With your living situation, you have to think about possible pet deposits and fees associated with them living with you. At our last apartment we had a pet deposit when we got him and pet rent due every month. (We used to joke that he was our little freeloader.) You also need to consider how much food, vet visits, toys and things like crates/beds/litter boxes will be. Can you take all of that on?

Ensure You’re Not Allergic

I’ve heard too many stories about people adopting animals and having to return them because they didn’t know they were allergic. Please, make sure you’re able to have an animal around before you adopt or take on a pet. Also, check with any roommates.

Check Your Calendar

When we adopted Toothless we had two days with him before we had to go out of town for a wedding. It worked because we were only gone a day but if we had adopted a puppy it would have been a different story. Check your calendar and make sure you can take a few weeks to get your pet acclimated and situated in your home and develop some routine. Your schedule is now their schedule so make sure you can take the time for them.

Consult Anyone Who Helps You Pay Your Bills

If you’re in school and don’t pay any of your bills yet, ask whoever does if it’d be okay for you to adopt a pet. Your parents or whoever helps you might not be down to take on the additional costs of an animal. If they’re not okay with it but you know you must have a pet, maybe consider getting a part-time job to cover their expenses. Regardless, though, have those conversations to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Ask Yourself If You’re Ready for This

Personally I think this is the hardest. Before you adopt a pet, you have to really think if you’re ready to take on the responsibility. Look at your lifestyle and see if a pet fits into it. When I was in school, as much as I wanted a pet, one didn’t fit into my lifestyle. I was rarely home. I didn’t have a lot of money. And, my living situation was never conducive to a pet. So I waited (which made me really sad some days) but now I have time for a pet and can love Toothless with my whole heart.

Changing your life for a pet doesn’t come without reward. Once you welcome a sweet animal into your home you’re able to give them all your love. You have someone to come home to, snuggle with and take tons of cheesy Instagram pictures of. It can be the best thing to happen to you. Just remember, make sure you’re ready for it.


P.S. I used the word “adopt” a lot in this post. Make sure if you’re looking for a pet to consider your local shelters. They’re filled with animals just looking for their forever home and you could be saving their life by adopting them. Adopt don’t shop.

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