Choosing a Pet
A pet can bring warmth and love to a home, but a pet is also a financial, emotional and time commitment that can last 15 years or more. Never adopt a pet impulsively or give one as a gift.
Everyone should agree on the decision to adopt a pet, since it will affect everyone in your family. Also think about how a new pet will affect your current pets.
Pet owner handbooks
Our pet owner handbooks contain information to help you successfully integrate a new pet into your family and ensure it lives a happy and healthy life. Read about nutrition, exercise, vaccinations, spaying and neutering, common parasites, preventing dental disease and more.
Read our Dog Owner's Handbook or Cat Owner's Handbook.
What to consider
Cost: It's important to understand the ongoing costs of pet ownership. Think of your pet's needs for items such as food, housing, training, socialization, exercise, grooming, licensing, pet insurance and veterinary care, and make sure you can afford these essentials and are willing and able to provide them.
Learn about the annual costs of owning a kitten/cat.
Learn about the annual costs of owning a puppy/dog.
Time commitment: From training and daily exercise, to regular feedings and grooming, it's important to be realistic about the commitment it takes to to care for a pet and provide a happy home.
Lifestyle: Consider your lifestyle when choosing a pet. For example, do you work long hours or travel frequently? How much time will your pet spend at home alone? Do you live in a house with a yard or an apartment? Make sure your lifestyle allows you to meet the needs of a pet.
Your veterinarian can help
If you need help choosing a pet for your family, talk to a veterinarian. Veterinarians have the training, knowledge and qualifications to give you the best advice on a potential pet's needs and how to care for a pet.
Once you choose your pet, your veterinarian will be your partner in maintaining the good health of your pet. Regular veterinary exams and preventive care are an integral part of preventing illness and ensuring your pet's good health and welfare.