Have you been pondering the idea of adding a companion animal to your life? You have come to the right place! Finding loving homes for animals is at the heart of Ontario SPCA and Humane Society’s work and finding the right fit means ensuring adopters know what to expect.
Adoption is a great choice if you are contemplating getting a cat, dog or other small animals, but regardless of whether you adopt, or acquire an animal through other means, it’s important to take into consideration everything involved with caring for that animal.
Considering the cost
Cost is a very important consideration when thinking about having an animal. While adoption has significant cost savings when it comes to the initial investment, caring for animals is a long-term financial commitment.
According to the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA), the annual average cost of caring for a puppy ranges from $4,589-$4,666, and annual care for a dog is approximately $3,724. For kittens, the annual cost of caring is between $3,091-$3,231, with the cost for cats being approximately $2,542. These are basic costs which don’t include additional fees such as private training classes, emergency vet bills, and boarding fees if you travel often.
What animal is in your future?
The second thing you need to consider is the type of animal that best fits your lifestyle and living situation. Your heart might be screaming Great Dane, but your tiny apartment is telling you otherwise. It’s important to be realistic about the type of environment you can offer your furry companion. Some animals and breeds are quite content living their days curled up indoors. Others need space to work off their energy and exhibit some of their natural instincts.
You’ll also want to consider how much time you have to care for this animal. Enrichment, socialization and training are all important to factor into your schedule. Puppies and kittens require a lot of attention in their first years, but it doesn’t end there. Caring for your animals requires a daily commitment for the duration of the animal’s life. The lifespan of a cat or dog can be upwards of 12 to 18 years of age, but if you are thinking about adopting a bird or reptile, be prepared for a 50-year commitment or longer. Some animals have incredibly long lifespans so it’s important to do your research.
Tapping into resources
Once you determine the financial viability and have done your research on what best suits your lifestyle, the third thing you will want to think about is your support system. Do you have family members or friends who can help you care for the animal if you need to travel or if you are ill? Do you have access to regular veterinarian care for routine check-ups, vaccinations, and other health care needs? Does your neighbourhood have animal-friendly parks or amenities? If your animal requires training, are their local resources available? Caring for an animal really does take a village and it’s important to consider what resources and support systems are available before committing to bringing an animal home.
Read our blog to learn more about planning for your pet in your will.
You’ve determined you’re ready to adopt – now what?
Once you are confident in your decision to adopt, visit the Ontario SPCA’s adoption site to see animals waiting to find their forever homes. You can also reach out to your local Ontario SPCA animal centre and speak to one of our knowledgeable adoption coordinators with any questions. They are available to help you during every step of the adoption process.