Are you ready to adopt a pet?



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Kittens can be a handful. Eight-week old Bowie, named after the late singer David Bowie, loves to pounce and chase his owners around their apartment in Bloomington. Emma Flohr Buy Photos

When people consider adopting pets, they often overlook certain factors or underestimate the amount of time and money that animals require. Here are some factors to consider before making a commitment to a furry friend.  

Does your place allow pets?

Several student housing options do allow residents to have pets, but always be sure to double check your lease before adopting. Even in pet-friendly housing, not all animals are allowed — there may be a limit on how large the animal is, or there may be breed restrictions. Some local living options that are pet-friendly include Reserve on Third, the Dillon and the Village at Muller Park, according to their websites. Even complexes that allow animals often charge a pet fee or charge an additional security deposit. 

Where will it go during school breaks? 

This question applies especially to out-of-state students. Before you adopt a pet, you should make sure it has somewhere to go during school breaks. One option would be to take the pet home with you when you leave campus. If that doesn't work for you, be sure to find somewhere to board your pet or someone to watch him while you’re out of Bloomington. 

How much time will it take?

The time commitment of a pet will depend on what type of animal you adopt. Dogs require more time than cats. Young kittens and puppies will require more time than older dogs and cats. Whichever pet you choose, be sure to factor in time to play with it, feed it and take it to the vet. Also consider your schedule before adopting. If you are overly busy and don’t spend a lot of time at your house, then your pet will be alone frequently, which could be a problem. 

How much money will it require? 

Pets are a serious financial commitment, so be sure to factor in adoption fees, vet bills, animal fees or security deposits for apartments, pet supplies and food. The first year of being a pet owner will most likely be the most expensive because of all the supplies and one-time adoption fees, as The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals's compilation of financial data about pet ownership shows. 

The first year of owning a dog will typically cost between $1,500 - $2,000, depending on the size of the dog. After the first year, it will cost about $740 - $1,040 per year. For cats, the first year will most likely cost about $1,200 and after the initial year the cost decreases to around $800 per year. For more information about typical pet costs, go to aspca.org. 

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