Thinking of adopting a pet?

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June 13, 2010

Use this checklist to be sure you're ready to take on the responsibility.

You've researched what type of pet will fit into your family.
If you lead a busy life, you probably don't want to get a puppy that needs to be housebroken and walked often. Study breeds online to fine one that matches your lifestyle.

You're prepared to commit. Cats can live 20 years; dogs, 10 to 15 years. Make sure you'll be able to care for your pet its whole life.

You can afford it. Consider the costs of owning a pet-such as food, vet bills (including checkups, illnesses and accidents), spaying or neutering, litter and toys.

You're willing to train a pet. Dogs should learn basic commands, and you might have to teach cats how to use a litter box.

You're OK with pet-proofing your home. You'll need to protect your dog or cat from foods that are harmful to them, such as chocolate, grapes and raisins, and from certain plants, medications and holiday decorations.

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