A number of factors should be considered before adopting a pet in India. Willingness to commit and adjust, the size of your home, the kind of weather you have where you stay, are some of the points you need to think about, say experts.
Akshay Kanitkar, Director- Operations at PetSutra; Rashi Narang, founder at Heads Up For Tails, and Aastha Bahl, Founder at Stars and Snowflakes, have listed some crucial points for you to consider.
* Ask yourself if you are ready to bring a pet into your life. Do you have the time and energy required to train and care for a pet from the beginning to the very end? (if you have the slightest doubt about this, we suggest you take a little more time to think about it).
* Puppies and kittens are not the only ones that you can adopt. Adult or senior dogs and cats often need homes too. Consider all your options.
* Pets are family, so it’s almost like planning a baby or a new addition to the family. So, make sure everyone at home is okay with the new adoption.
* Does your current home have enough room for the pet you are bringing home? While cats, birds and small dogs manage well in apartments, larger dogs need more room to stretch their legs. Make sure you have a large area to exercise them.
* Can you commit as a family? Will you be ready for the lifestyle changes that the pet will bring? That may mean morning walks, waking you up really early and many more things.
* Will you be ready to spend? Pets are not supposed to eat our food so will you be able to adjust to their special needs in food and vaccinations.
* Training and grooming needs: They need to be trained especially dogs, so will you be willing to invest your time with a trainer. Also, a visit to a pet spa is a very good idea but ask for the shampoo being used. Ideally, a paraben free, sulphate free shampoo as cheap shampoos can cause more harm than good.
* Right accessories, toys and treats: A lot of pet parents do not realise the importance of these, but accessories, toys and treats are essential while bringing up a pet. Allowing them to chew on your rubber slipper is not a good idea.
* Is your home pet-friendly? Even if you are staying in a high-rise building, do you have the right environment for the safety of your pet? Hope you don’t throw sugar cubes around, as your dog could lap them up with consequences.
* Be clear about spaying/neutering: Talk to a vet to be clear about why spaying/neutering benefits in the behavioural aspects of a pet.
* Read nutritional facts before you buy a product: Just as you read nutritional facts while buying your food, please do the same while selecting a food for your pet. If you are not in the habit of checking that for yourself, please do so.
* Educate yourself: This is the last but most important step as it will help you throughout the life stages of your pet. Constantly be ready to read articles and research on pets. Do not buy products just because your neighbour bought them for her pet. As a pet parent, buy the best, be the best.