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What to Expect When You Adopt a Pet

  • May 7, 2013
  • 5:00 pm
  • 1 of 6
What to Expect When You Adopt a Pet

Taking the time up front to understand what it takes to care for an animal for the rest of his/her life is a critical step in becoming a pet parent. If more people truly understood the magnitude of the commitment needed to welcome an animal into their home, fewer animals would be returned to shelters.

To help prepare for a long and happy human/pet relationship, we’ve outlined a few things to consider before taking in future animal companions:


Budget: Initial investment: $200-400, depending on size; annual upkeep: $500-$1500.

Additional Costs to Consider:

Routine vet care: $100-$500 annually

Spay/Neuter: $50 -$250

Grooming: $25-$150

Training: $40-$300+

Housing: Puppies need to be contained when no one is around. If an adult dog doesn’t have a crate, provide a soft bed in a warm, quiet spot. All dogs and puppies need plenty of exercise every day. We do not recommend leaving your dog outside for long periods of time unattended; however, if you must, be sure to provide a shady spot to relax and plenty of food and water.

Cleanup: Dogs need to be walked multiple times per day. In public spaces, humans must scoop the poop! Also, most dogs shed, so you’ll need a decent vacuum, or be ready to sweep on a regular basis. On the plus side: no more crumbs under the table.

Diet: Puppies normally eat several times a day; an adult dog usually eats once or twice a day. Foods vary widely from store-bought to homemade. Visit your vet soon after welcoming home your new dog to discuss food portion sizes and nutritional needs.

Kids: Most dogs love to play with children, though play should be supervised–even the most gentle pup can snap if a child is too rough or abrupt. And no matter how friendly, the dog should never be left alone with young children.

Life expectancy: Lifespan varies by breed. In general, the larger the dog, the shorter their natural lifespan. A Chihuahua can easily live for 15 years or more; a Great Dane may not live much beyond 8 years.

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Read more: Cats, Dogs, Everyday Pet Care, Less Common Pets, Pet Health, Pets, , , , , , , ,

By Janice Brown, founder of TAILS

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TAILS is an interactive website, online community, and print magazine that celebrates the relationship between pets and their people. TAILS features expert knowledge, advice, pet product reviews, local resource guides, community event listings, and fun contests to promote and encourage people to live responsibly with their pets.


+ add your own
12:34PM PDT on Jul 23, 2015

Indeed, people have to take into account many things before getting a pet; they are not objects. Thanks for posting, sharing as well!

10:23PM PDT on Sep 7, 2013


10:34PM PDT on Jul 11, 2013

Great article, and good comments from the members, took me a while to read over 200 of them, WOW. a lot of interest in pets and very informative run down on everything to do with 6 different types of pets.

8:38AM PDT on Jul 8, 2013

i wouldnt give up my kitty for all the money in the world. I wish horses had been on here, we are considering it

8:02AM PDT on Jun 17, 2013

thanks for sharing :)

12:24PM PDT on Jun 11, 2013

In general, the larger the dog, the shorter their natural lifespan

Read more:
really????????so sad!!i have one large and one smal!

5:27AM PDT on May 26, 2013

thank you for sharing

6:26PM PDT on May 13, 2013

Thanks for these facts.

11:58AM PDT on May 13, 2013

The greatest cost of any pet is that your heart will be utterly broken when they pass from this life into the next, leaving you behind with the little pieces. Money is nothing...we give part of our soul to them. Children and animals are our greatest treasures in Heaven.

10:46AM PDT on May 12, 2013

Thanks! Yes, adoption is the way to go!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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