Is This the Best Time to Adopt a Pet?

Pets add joy, 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. Sometimes, adopting a pet may be too much added responsibility if you're also experiencing other life-changes. Take this quiz to assess what's happening in your life now, and in the near future, 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, an adult cat, or well-trained, adult dog would probably be more appropriate than a kitten, a 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! Acquiring a pet now is not a wise decision.