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 cost about $700 a year. The first year can cost double that.
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.
On August 17, 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.
More than 100 animals found a new home during last year's Clear the Shelters event in East Tennessee, and more than 103,000 pets were adopted across the U.S. Since five years ago, the pet adoption drive has helped find more than 256,600 pets new homes.