Choosing a Pet

Pets add fun, companionship and love to our lives, but they’re also a big responsibility. Choosing to add a pet to your family is a very important decision. Is it the right time for you?

Take this quiz to help you decide if this is the best time to adopt a pet. Check the following events that have either occurred in your life in the past six months, or that you think may occur in the coming six months:

  • Divorce or end of a relationship
  • Marriage
  • Change in living arrangements (new roommates or moving in with significant other)
  • Move to a new residence
  • Pregnancy or new baby
  • Longer hours or increased responsibility at work
  • Financial concerns
  • Children leaving home or moving back home
  • Care-taking responsibilities for elderly or ill family member
  • Significant changes in family routine
  • Death of a family member
  • Death or disappearance of a family pet
  • Relinquishment of a pet (given away or brought to an animal shelter)
  • Significant health problems of a family member
  • Change in working status of a family member (begins work, changes jobs or retires)
  • Frequent travel, either for business or pleasure
  • Limited leisure or free time
  • Graduation from high school or college
  • Disagreement among family members about adopting a pet
  • Add one point for every pet you currently have (one aquarium counts as one pet)


0-3: Your life seems fairly stable. Now is probably a reasonable time to acquire a pet.

4-6: You have a lot of responsibilities right now. Although adopting a pet may still work for you, a small mammal, adult cat, or well-trained, adult dog would probably be more appropriate than a kitten, puppy, or an active breed of dog.

7-10: Let’s think twice about this. With all the changes and responsibilities in your life right now, you may not have time to care for a new pet. It would probably be better for both you and the pet if you wait until your life settles down a bit.

10+: STOP! DON’T PASS GO! Acquiring a pet now is not a wise decision. Why not consider a pet rock or a “computer-pet” instead?

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