What to Consider When Adopting a Pet in New York
Here's everything you need to know before considering adopting a pet in New York
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Review Your Lease
You’ll want to review the terms of your lease or co-op paperwork before welcoming Fifi or Fido. Even pet-friendly buildings may have landlords and management companies who prohibit dogs on a breed-by-breed basis. For example, New York City Housing Authority prohibits residents from owning Doberman pinschers, rottweilers, and pit bulls. NYCHA also bans dogs weighing more than 25 pounds, and requires that all dogs be registered.
Check Your Finances
The American Kennel Association estimates that a dog will cost approximately $15,000 over the course of its life, from vet appointments to food to super-cute costumes for Halloween. Cats cost around $600 annually, according to the ASPCA. If you plan to travel with your pet, you’ll need to factor in costs like crates and flight fees; if you plan to leave your pet at home, you’ll need to factor in sitter fees. And while you may be working from home right now, when you head back to an office, dog walkers might need to be factored into your monthly pet budget.
And then come the unforeseen expenses. What happens if your pet needs emergency surgery? Or if your pet develops a persistent condition? Although no one likes to contemplate pet illness or death, you should be realistic about potential long-term costs.
Start to Assign Responsibilities
Before undertaking a New York pet adoption, you’ll want to have a frank discussion with your family about responsibilities: dogs need walking, litter boxes and cages need cleaning, floors need to be mopped, toys need to be washed, food and fresh water need to be put out. While it’s easy to get caught up in the long scroll of cute pet photos, it’s equally vital to talk about what life will be like once the pet arrives. Only you can decide whether your family is really and truly ready for the responsibility of pet ownership.
Make an Appointment
NYC pet shelters maintain robust websites. Once you’ve found the right friend, you’ll want to complete the paperwork and make an appointment for a virtual interview. Expect questions about your home and family members.
Consider Fostering a Pet First
Fostering a pet gives you the opportunity to care for an animal on a temporary basis. Some animal rescue centers, such as Badass Animal Rescue, don’t have a physical location, and instead rely completely on foster families to care for dogs before they find their furever homes. Not only does fostering let you see what it might be like to have a pet in your life, but it lets the pet get a whole lot of extra love and attention.