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The vast majority of dogs, cats and other pets that are given up to re-homing shelters or re-homed privately by their owners come from responsible, caring homes where they have been well looked after and adequately cared for and trained. Although many pets are also re-homed due to neglect or abuse, nevertheless, these animals are in the minority compared to pets owned by people who simply find themselves unable to care for their pet any longer or to give them the attention that they deserve, in which case, seeking a suitable replacement home for them is the responsible choice. However, regardless of the eventual reasons behind why a pet needs re-homing, the end result is essentially the same; re-homing centres and pet shelters constantly full to capacity, more pets in need of homes than there are owners to care for them, and more pets being bred and born every year than there are lifelong homes available. If you are thinking of getting a new pet or breeding from your existing animals, it is important to do everything that you can to make sure that you minimise the chances of contributing to this growing problem somewhere along the line if your situation changes. Have you thought ahead before making your decision, and are you as sure as you can be that you can care for your prospective future pet or pets for the duration of their lives? In order to help you to make an informed choice, please check out our list of the top five reasons given to Pets4homes by people seeking to re-home their pets.
The most commonly cited reason behind giving up a pet for adoption is a change in the status of a relationship. Sometimes this means a split up or separation, or possibly even getting a new partner and finding out that the partner and pets don’t get on, or that the mixture of pets owned by both parties cannot live happily together. If you are thinking of getting a pet, have you considered if this might affect you? If you found a new partner, would you still be able to make your pet your priority, and compromise to ensure that you can continue to care for them? Or if you are in a relationship now and have decided to get a pet together, how would this work out if you eventually split up? Who would keep the pet, and would one of you be both willing and able to continue to care for them adequately if you found yourself alone, with a different income, only one of you able to provide care, or possibly living in a new place?
Is your current home suitable for keeping pets, will they cause any problems with your neighbours, and if you rent your home, is your landlord fully on board with you having pets? Many tenancy agreements do not allow pets to be kept at the address, and you must always find this out and talk to your landlord before considering getting an animal. What if you have to move house in the future- are your pets likely to make this difficult? Would you run into problems finding a new home that would accept your pets? Consider all of these things in advance, before it is too late.
A pet might be a great addition to your home now, but what if you decided to have children or got pregnant? Many pets such as cats and dogs generally live for well over ten years, a long time in the course of anyone’s lives, which can make it hard to accurately project how your situation might change in the future. If you are planning to have children or suspect that you might want to in the future, is a pet still a good idea? Will you be able to take care of both your pregnancy and your pet, and are you confident that you could give enough attention to your animal after your child or children were born? If you are sure that the answers to these questions are ‘yes,’ you will still need to be selective about what kind of pet you get if children may come into their lives later. Some pets get on better with children than others, and some pets will never fully accept a child into their lives or be safe left alone with them.
While you might have the time and energy to care for a pet now, what effect would it have on your pets if you changed jobs, got a promotion or something else about your work life became different? If your commute becomes longer, you have to work longer hours, or need to travel away from home a lot, will you still be able to care for your pet properly? Dogs in particular should never be left alone unsupervised for more than a few hours at a time, and you should bear in mind how any future career progression or changes to your work/life balance might affect your future pets before getting one.
Even if you are financially comfortable enough to take care of a pet now, are you as sure as you can be that you will also be able to take care of their needs in the long term? What if your pet needed expensive veterinary treatment, developed a costly ongoing condition, or needed to be put on a prescription diet? While you might be able to fund your pet’s care day to day, it is also important to plan for the long term, and consider issues such as how you would be able to take care of your pet as they got older, or if you lost your job or found that you had less money coming in for a while. Do you have a contingency fund in place, and a clear idea of how you can ensure that you could take care of your pet’s needs for the whole duration of their life?
If you are sure that you have adequately considered the future and that you could care for a pet for the long term, why not consider re-homing a pet from a caring owner who has fallen victim to circumstances and can no longer look after their pet? Check out our pet adoption section here at Pets4homes to view many animals of all varieties that have been loved and cared for by their current owners but are now in need of a new forever home.
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