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Should you adopt a dog? Let these questions help you decide.

Adopting a pet can change your life. Here are some ways to know if you're ready.

Adopting a pet is a big decision, and while it may be tempting to take home that little pup on a whim, it's important to have a plan. With research and preparation, you'll be in a better position to determine whether you have the time, space and money to adopt. This will help you understand the responsibilities associated with pet ownership and decide whether adopting a dog is right for you. 

How much time can you make for a dog?

Do you have enough free time or control over your schedule? If you don't have a lot of a time to spare, you have some things to consider. Can someone help care for your pet while you're away? Make sure you have a designated caretaker if you work long hours, and always have a backup plan when you travel. If you cannot board your pet at a nearby kennel, consider adopting a cat.

How tight is your budget?

Think about how much you're able and willing to spend. The ASPCA said pets between $1,100 and $3,200 during the first year.

MORE: Clear The Shelters: The financial costs of owning your first pet

How much space do you have at home?

If you have a house or a large apartment, great! If your space is a bit more cramped, do you live nearby a park? If not, consider a pet that does better indoors, because dogs need exercise.

How old are the people in your home?

If you live with children younger than 7, experts said you should avoid small dogs and puppies.

If you have elderly family members in your home often, avoid strong, excitable dogs.

RELATED: Clear the Shelters: 5 things to know before adopting your new fur-ever friend

From August 23 to September 18, you can give a loving home to a new cat or dog in need. 10News is working with animals shelters across East Tennessee to host Clear the Shelters, a nationwide push to encourage pet adoption.

In 2019, more than 150,000 pets were adopted nationwide in a single-day Clear the Shelters event. More than 245 of those pets were adopted in East Tennessee.  

Click here for more information about Clear the Shelters 2021.

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