Pet Tips & News
Are You and Your Significant Other Ready to Adopt a Pet?
BY SHANNON CASEY
Adopting a pet with your significant other is a big step. It’s a large commitment and can definitely be viewed as a relationship milestone. For these reasons, it’s important that you don’t rush into joint pet ownership. Make sure you sit down with your partner and talk about your expectations and how you’ll share responsibilities. Here’s how to decide if you’re ready to adopt a pet with your significant other!
Type of Pet
Before you and your partner adopt a pet, you have to agree on which pet you’re going to adopt in the first place. Are you going to adopt a cat or adopt a dog? How old will the pet be? Do you want an adorable, but high-maintenance, pet or a low-key senior animal? How big will the pet be? So before you surprise your significant other with a newborn kitten, make sure they have the same expectations for pet ownership!
Division of Labor
Determining a division of labor prior to pet adoption is also a crucial step. Otherwise, resentment can fester and put a great deal of stress on your relationship. Make sure you set expectations for who will exercise, feed and groom your pet. You need to be confident that both of you have enough time to care for an animal. If you and your partner already argue about who does the dishes and who vacuums, this may be an indication that you’re not ready for pet ownership.
Okay, this is probably going to be the hardest conversation for you and your SO when you talk about adopting a pet. If the two of you break up, you need to do what’s best for your pet, and that means not have a never-ending argument over who gets custody. However, what you ultimately decide isn’t a “one-size fits all relationships” solution.
Some couples are going to decide that one person takes the dog or cat and has full-time custody. This may be difficult for the other partner, but for many pets and their owners, it’s ultimately the best solution. Maybe the couple can’t co-parent amicably or maybe they live too far apart to make a split custody solution work. Another possibility is that shuffling the pet back and forth from each home is too stressful on the cat or dog.
Other couples might decide on sharing the pet. Sometimes dogs and cats do fine in this kind of arrangement and this way they get to spend time with both of their owners. The tricky part about making this situation work is deciding on a schedule. It can also be extremely difficult when you disagree with your ex on what’s best for your pet. Maybe you can’t agree on the best diet, exercise regimen or medical treatment for your animal.
If you’re ready to adopt a pet, head over to our adoption page!
Halloween Safety Tips
Halloween can be the spookiest night of the year, but keeping your pets safe doesn’t have to be tricky. The ASPCA recommends taking these simple, common sense precautions to keep your pet happy and healthy all the way to November 1.
Stash the Treats
The candy bowl is for trick-or-treaters, not Scruffy or Fluffy. Several popular Halloween treats are toxic to pets. Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for cats and dogs, and sugar-free candies containing the sugar substitute xylitol can cause serious problems in pets. If you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.
Watch the Decorations and Keep Wires Out of Reach
While a carved jack-o-lantern certainly is festive, pets can easily knock over a lit pumpkin and start a fire. Curious kittens are especially at risk of getting burned or singed by candle flame. Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered relatively nontoxic, but can produce stomach discomfort in pets who nibble on them.
Be Careful with Costumes
For some pets, wearing a costume may cause undue stress. The ASPCA recommends that you don’t put your dog or cat in a costume unless you know he or she loves it. If you do dress up your pet for Halloween, make sure the costume does not limit his or her movement, sight or ability to breathe, bark or meow. Check the costume carefully for small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that could present a choking hazard. Ill-fitting outfits can get twisted on external objects or your pet, leading to injury.
Be sure to have your pet try on the costume before the big night. If he or she seems distressed or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting your pet wear his or her “birthday suit” or don a festive bandana instead.
Keep Pets Calm and Easily Identifiable
Halloween brings a flurry of activity with visitors arriving at the door, and too many strangers can often be scary and stressful for pets. All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hours. While opening the door for guests, be sure that your dog or cat doesn’t dart outside. And always make sure your pet it wearing proper identification—if for any reason he or she does escape, a collar with ID tags and/or a microchip can be a lifesaver for a lost pet.