Furry Friends: Picking a Pet With Your Partner
Bringing a pet in to the home can be a source of great joy and fulfillment, just make sure you are prepared for the time, money and effort.

Bringing a pet in to the home can be a source of great joy and fulfillment, just make sure you are prepared for the time, money and effort.

As your relationship with your partner continues to grow and change over the years, you probably are constantly looking forward to the next big step. From getting married to buying a home together, there are many milestones that couples face. If you are thinking about expanding your family but do not feel prepared to have a child, then you may be considering a pet. Bringing a furry friend into your home can totally transform your lives for the better. Of course, you first need to take time to ensure this is the right fit for your needs.

Do You Have Time For A Pet?

The biggest question you both need to ask when you want to get a pet is whether you have time for the commitment. A pet is a lot of work and can demand a lot of your energy. This goes double when you wish for a very young animal like a puppy or a kitten. Not only will you need to put a lot of time into training the little guy, you also will find that it takes a whole lot of energy. When you work all the time, a pet is not a sensible fit.

Beyond the early days of training, your pet will require a set amount of time from you each day. A dog, for example, needs to be taken on several lengthy walks each day. This means you need to be ready to go outdoors for a bathroom break with your pup even when it is raining, snowing, or the middle of the night. A cat is less demanding in this way, but not without a fair share of daily responsibilities. From regular feedings to litterbox maintenance, cats can have just as many time-consuming needs as dogs.

Financial Thoughts

Having enough time for this investment is only the tip of the iceberg. A pet may not be anywhere near as expensive as a child, but this does not mean getting one is a cheap endeavor. When you first get a little puppy or kitty to bring into your home, you will need to put down a lot of money. Typically, early expenses for a pet include immunizations, basic vet services, spaying and neutering operations, foods, toys, vital accessories related to bodily functions like leashes and litterboxes, and several other key items.

What’s more, certain expenses recur on a regular basis. Just as you need to eat multiple times each day to remain strong and healthy, so does your pet. While your dog may eat the same meal every day, you still need to go out and buy your pup’s food when it runs low. Surprise expenses like vet visits can also appear out of nowhere, which can sometimes be financially demanding. Before making your final decision, think about whether your budget reflects the true costs associated with giving a pet a comfortable life. Moreover, keep in mind that as your animal ages, the medical costs associated with their health will most assuredly go up.

Adoption Is a Must

Finally, consider adoption. Statistics state that there are more homeless pets around the world than ever before. Shelters are constantly inundated with dogs and cats from families who made irresponsible choices or decided pet ownership was “too much” for them to handle. While you can purchase your pet from a breeder, adopting may turn out to be a superior choice. With so many animals in need of love and a forever home, there is absolutely no need to pay for a designer pet. Make the right choice and visit your local shelter to learn more.

Bringing a pet into your relationship can be a wonderful decision. Before you get ahead of yourself though, think about the responsibilities that come along with owning a pet. By doing some preliminary research, you will know whether you are ready for the exciting milestone of welcoming the first family pet into your home.

Are You Considering Adoption?
Adoption can completely change a child's life.

Adoption can completely change a child’s life.

The Adoption Council for Canada estimates that there are about 30,000 children in Canada’s child welfare system eligible to be adopted. Although many of these children are aged 6 or older, they still need a permanent home where they can grow and thrive in a loving environment. If you’ve been considering an addition to your family, but were afraid of adoption, learn more about it to know if it might be a good solution.

Myths Surrounding Adoptions

Many people are concerned about the costs of adoption, which is understandable. However, a public adoption costs very little, according to the ACC. A private adoption will cost more, but costs vary by organization. It’s estimated that a public adoption costs $3,000 or less. Through a licensed agency, it can run $10,000 to $20,000, and an international adoption can cost $20,000 or more.

Then, there’s always the fear that a biological parent can take back the child. Once a parent’s rights have been terminated, the parent cannot regain custody of the child. Once the adoption is finalized, adoptive parents have the same rights and responsibilities as biological parents when it comes to the child.

Another common myth is that “I don’t qualify.” Whether it’s age, marital status, or relationship-status, there are no hard and fast rules about who qualifies to adopt. Many people over the age of 40 have been able to adopt children. Single parents can also adopt, as can same-sex couples. Actually, in Canada, each province regulates adoptions based on rules that have been set by their government.

Many people are concerned with the needs of the child who has been abandoned or abused. It’s true that children in the foster care system can have emotional, mental or even physical needs that have to be addressed. Their best chance at success is a loving, permanent family who works toward a positive future with the child.

What’s the Process Like?

Although the process may be slightly different based on where you live or the agency you’re using, there is a basic process that can help you understand what it will take to adopt a child. The first thing you need to do is contact the agency and attend their intake meeting. Here, the agency will outline their specific guidelines.

Adoption is a very intrusive process. You’re going to be given an application that is very personal. You may not have even considered some of the questions you might get asked. You can’t get upset by the process. You’re asking to be entrusted with a human soul. This is a very serious matter. The agency has to do its due diligence to know that you are capable of the job. A medical exam is required. You may also be subjected to a police check. Prepare to give references for a background check.

Each applicant will be required to have a homestudy by a licensed social worker. Some agencies offer a class to prepare you for this step. You may choose to delay the process at this point while you prepare or even withdraw. The homestudy is more than just paperwork. You and your spouse (if applicable) will be interviewed. You should expect at least one home visit. The agency worker will probably want to meet with family members to assess your readiness and ability to deal with the adopted child.

Is It Worth It?

There’s no real timeline for the process, because it depends on many different factors. Be patient, because the most important aspect is the child’s needs. Although you may be trying to find your child, the real purpose of adoption is to find a family for a child. There may be disappointments along the way, but once the process is complete it is very rewarding. Think about it. Maybe you can be the difference in the life of a child.