Adopting is an act of love and one of the most generous acts you can have. Especially when we talk about animals that never had a home or that were abandoned… for the most diverse and ridiculous excuses.
Before adopting, you should consider everything that this implies: the responsibility that is having a life in our hands, caring for that life, the monthly expenses that we will have and the awareness that, like us humans, other animals can also get sick… and we all get old!
Adopting a “special” animal is of an even greater generosity. An elderly cat or dog, or one with more fragile health conditions, or an animal that needs chronic medication, or that is missing a limb, or an eye, or is blind, or has a vírus…
People usually don’t realize how grateful these animals become for having a home. Believe me, you will be surprised!
Baby or adult?
The loving and delicious baby you’re going to adopt today will become an old animal… much faster than a person. Always remember that the life expectancy of an Animal is shorter than that of a Human Being.
Thinking that you are going to adopt a baby animal so that it grows up with your human baby is an illusion. A cat becomes an adult within a year. So, if your human baby is 5 years old and you adopt a 4 month old cat… when your baby is 6 years old, the cat will be an adult.
You should also consider that a baby cat or dog is like a human child. Lots o energy, lots of pranks, and an exercise to your patience. Are you ready to have a kitten climbing all over the place or a dog peeing on the floor, no matter where, and destroying everything at home? This phase is inevitable, until the small animal becomes a calmer adult.
At the same time, a baby is a box full of surprises. A cat only has a definitive personality after being seven months old. It may take a dog a year or two for this to happen.
The best adoption experience for anyone who has never had an animal is, without a doubt, a calm adult animal.
Adopt one or two animals?
Especially those who have never had animals tend to want to adopt just one animal and even get a little scared when they are advised to adopt two dogs or two cats.
It is true that animals are expensive, they are an unavoidable responsibility for life (of the animal, which is inevitably shorter than that of humans) and they must be well fed and protected, treated with respect, affection and veterinary care.
Good nutrition is your health insurance for the future. Everything you save on food, giving cheap and poor quality nutrition, will have a negative reflection in future health, with more fragile animals and with a higher tendency to be or become ill. They are like us: well fed they are healthy. Believe that it is much cheaper to give good food than to spend hundreds or thousands of euros at a veterinarian to treat an animal that has been poorly cared for.
There is also the responsibility of ensuring that they are taken care of during holidays or extended absences, something that a family member or friend can do, but there are already many services specialized in the accommodation of animals. Always be very careful when choosing hotels for animals, always visit the facilities, look for reviews and comments on the facilities and services provided and remember to always include your pet, dog or cat in your holiday budget.
But isn’t it more expensive to have two animals?
Of course it is slightly more expensive, but only slightly!
In the case of cats, a litter box is enough for both (although ideally having two boxes), they need a larger drink bowl and two food bowls. The most obvious monthly expense is food and litter, but as people say “where one eats, there’s enough for two”. Obviously it will depend on the size of the animals. In cats and small dogs it is quite peaceful, in large dogs of course you can see the difference.
There are also vaccines and deworming, which can be delayed in time, treating each animal in a different month.
Sterilization is only once in the animal’s lifetime, and they can also be sterilized one at a time… although the ideal is to save money and take care of both at the same time, because this way you can do the two post-ops at once.
When we adopt and the animal has already reached the age of being neutered, associations and private protectors usually have the animals already neutered… an advantage of adopting older animals.
So the money issue is not that dramatic. In case of dogs, it is food, vaccines (annual) and deworming (semesterly). Neutering, both in dogs and cats, is cheaper in males, as it’s a simpler and faster surgery. Spaying females is more expensive, and the recovery is longer.
In the case of cats, after two to three years of consecutive vaccination an animal that does not leave home does not need to be vaccinated annually. Talk with the veterinarian, to see if vaccination can be every two or three years. There is also half-yearly deworming (although veterinarians usually ask for quarterly deworming, which for a cat that was correctly dewormed as a child, does not have access to the outdoors and does not eat raw food, deworming twice a year is peaceful). Remember that although it is expensive, sterilization is once in a lifetime and has the greatest health and behavioral benefits you can imagine (see the article on the importance of sterilization).
An act of generosity and love!
The generosity and love of adopting two animals makes all the difference. We have our work, school, family and friends… our pet friend only has us and can spend a whole day alone. Loneliness is not good for anyone, for any species. In addition to the joy of your pet being able to have a companion of the same species, to play and sleep with.
Sensitive people who adopt only one animal, quickly realize that they want to give their beloved pet a companion, not to spend too much time alone. In these cases, both animals need time to get to know each other and share territory, already established by the resident animal, which can mean two weeks of instability. The animal of the house can be sullen with the entry of the new element in the territory, and cats can hide and hiss before all settles down and they become friends. This is obviously avoidable if two animals that already know each other and are friends are adopted together: two brothers, mother and child or two cats or dogs that already live together and are friends.
In case of young animals, there is still the advantage of having fun together and being less likely to damage things at home.
When adopting, also think about your pet’s future happiness… give him some company. Hapiness for the pet and tranquility for the tutor, because he knows that he is not always alone in his absence, and that he can go to dinner with friends or family in peace, knowing that his furry friend has company.
Remember that we all have one heart to love…but two hands to caress.