Considerations Before You Adopt

Be realistic. Pets take time, money, and effort. 
If you rent, do you have your landlord’s permission to have pets? Can you afford any additional pet deposits or monthly charge?  
Can you afford to feed your pet every day? How about annual vet visits and vaccines? 
(NOTE: Puppies MUST have shots beginning at 6-8 weeks and every two weeks after for a series of four.  They should not be allowed to be in areas where other pets have been until completing the vaccine series. Without vaccines, puppies are extremely susceptible to diseases like the parvovirus which is fatal. The virus can live in soil for up to a year.)   
Are you able to pay for monthly preventatives like heartworm and flea preventatives? Both are necessary in our climate. Without them, you and your pets will be miserable and your pet's health will be compromised. Untreated, heartworm disease can lead to an early death.  
Dogs are not backyard furniture. Dogs are pack animals and should be a part of the family. They want to be with you not left at home waiting for hours. 
Are you ready for a long-term commitment? Dogs and cats can live well into their teens. Some cats live 20 plus years. 
Are you financially ready for a medical emergency? 
What type of pet is right for you? Dogs are not weekend exercise. They need exercise every day. Some breeds are more active than others.  An adult or older dog or cat may be a better choice.  It saves a life and your pet will love you for it.  
Are you okay with "accidents"? Even if your dog is house-trained, accidents happen. How long are you away from home? Despite the benefits of crating, dogs are NOT okay being crated for hours on end. For their well-being, cats should be kept indoors which requires a litter box that is cleaned regularly.  
Some pets require extra grooming which may be an added expense. Do you understand the responsibilities of grooming a particular breed? 
Sure puppies are cute, but they quickly become adolescents--the most trying time of their lives for an owner. Hide your favorite shoes! It is very comforting to teethe on something that smells like you.  Adolescents--whether they be humans or pets-- take extra patience!
Be honest about your lifestyle, time commitments, finances, and responsibilities before adopting. The animals are counting on you!