As a couple grows closer and makes plans for the future, the idea of expanding their love to include caring for a pet is often a natural choice. This is especially true for pet lovers. Adding a pawed friend to the mix is a common theme when two people commit to greater responsibility and the sharing of interests. If you and your sweetie are looking to add a new pet to your little family, that’s an exciting step! 

If you are about to embark on adopting a pet with your significant other, there are some things to consider before you take the plunge into mutual pet ownership. Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital wants to help you make an informed decision to create the best possible home life for your wonderful new pet.

7 Things to Consider Before Adopting a Pet with Your Significant Other

Growing closer to your loved ones, you may wish to share a home with a fur friend. It’s a major milestone in a couple’s life and can signal other commitments and choices you make together. But a pet is a living, breathing lifelong commitment and cannot be taken lightly. 

To make sure the two of you are dedicated to ensuring the health and happiness of a pet companion, consider the following important things to note.

  1. Have you agreed to the type of pet? Makes no bones about it, arguments can ensue if your girlfriend is set on a toy poodle while you want an iguana. Your choice in what pet to get together probably will be rife with questions and conversation. Things like size, longevity, personality, habitat requirements, and so on need to be factored in beyond the basic “look” of the new pet.
  2. How much time do we have? Most of us are busy, running from one obligation to the next, with ample commute time in between. Remember, that when you bring a pet into the home, there are time commitments to them that you must consider. These time commitments include: meals, attention, exercise, grooming, and basic training and socialization.
  3. Are there major life changes occurring? Adding a pet to the home should be considered a major life event. It requires time and attention in order for the transition to be smooth and joyful. If you have any big changes coming up, such as a wedding, birth of a child, change of residence, and so on, it is best to wait until there is a level of calm and routine for a great adoption process.
  4. How will you share the cost of ownership? Pets, while invaluable friends, do require a financial commitment. From adoption fees to food and treats, veterinary care and vaccines, and several pet supply items, are you and your partner financially able to take on a pet? Have you discussed how you will share the responsibility?
  5. Where will your pet stay and when? If you live separately, have you considered where your pet will be during the week and how to share the time spent in each home.
  6. Have you agreed on house rules? Some pet owners allow their pets to sleep on the bed, while others don’t. Some give their pet food off of their plate, while that would be a major no-no for others. Have you and your partner agreed on basic home rules? These help a pet understand what you expect from them.
  7. What happens if you break up? We know this is a tough conversation to have, much less think about. But this is a real occurrence that can leave both you and your partner, as well as your pet, in a heartbreaking situation. Decide if you will share custody, or not, and how that will look for everyone involved. Consider developing a pet custody, legally binding agreement to ensure your pet’s wellbeing.

There can be nothing more rewarding than adopting a pet with your partner. This level of dedication and love exemplify your desire to care for a deserving best friend. 

For more information on adopting a pet with your partner, or to schedule an appointment, please contact us.