Sharing your home with a four-legged friend can be one of life's greatest joys. But there are many questions to ask yourself before bringing a pet home for the holidays.
Dr. Miriam Tadros from Evans East Animal Hospital advises families to consider these circumstances before making room for a new addition.
First, families should make sure they have the finances to care for a pet. Aside from basic food costs, pet owners should take health care costs into consideration.
The owner's lifestyle will also play a role in the pet's new life. Will you be home to pay attention to your pet? Will you have time to train your pet? Will the pet be good with your children and vice versa?
Also, what kind of environment will your new companion be living in? An apartment or home? Some apartments will not allow pets, or put restrictions on certain breeds. You should "pet proof" your home just as you would for a baby. Make sure pets cannot get into something that will harm them, or that your don't want destroyed.
Finally, will your pet be accepted in your family? Some owners find that owning a new pet can be more challenging than expected. Others give up on their pet, and return the animal after adoption, or abandon the pet all together.