Adopting my pups and cat was seriously the best decision of my life. Nothing has brought me more joy … and frustration. Being a pet owner isn’t for everyone, but if you find yourself browsing PetFinder for your future friend, here are four things to consider.

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The Responsibility

No more doing things on your own time whenever you want. Having a dog factors into your daily schedule. There have been times when I couldn’t hang out or had to call it an early night because I had to go home and let the pups out. Having animals is something you have to factor into your social life but to me, it’s totally worth it. I love having these guys depend on me and I’m happy to spend time with them and care for them. Although sometimes I dream about having a weekend away without having to pay for an Airbnb AND a dog sitter. If you aren’t willing to make sacrifices for your pet, then it’s probably not the right time to get one.

All That Cash

Any dog, puppy or senior, is going to put a dent in your bank account. Yearly vaccines, flea and heartworm medication, quality dog food, accidental injuries, and more…all of that adds up. Don’t get a pet if you can’t afford to give it the proper care it deserves. Volunteering at your local shelter or even fostering a dog or cat can give you the animal fix you need but without the financial commitment.

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Your Activity Level

Before I adopted any of my dogs, I knew what I was looking for. I wasn’t looking for a running buddy but a pup with medium to lower energy that doesn’t shed and is loyal. I also knew that I would be traveling back and forth to visit my family and I wanted to be able to bring the dog in the cabin of an airplane with me. With all these qualities in mind, I spent months researching the dog breed that best fit that list.

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Your Commitment

This is not a phase. This is not until you get bored or have to move. Adopting a dog means agreeing to take care of that dog financially and physically until they pass. If you’re not ready for a 10+ year long commitment, consider becoming a plant parent.