You love your pets so much, it feels like there’s always room for one more. On the other hand, you worry that you could end up on an episode of Hoarders: Animal Edition. So, how many pets is too many? There’s no magic number that is perfect for everyone, but following this guide should prevent regret.
Are you allowed to have them? You are aware of your city’s ordinances on illegal dog breeds or crowing roosters, and won’t be violating any laws. You have a fence if required to have one, and won’t exceed the allowed number of animals on the property.
Also, if you rent, is your landlord aware of your plan? Are you subject to a limited number of pets, certain types, certain sizes of dogs, or any other limitation? Is a pet deposit required for each pet?
It is always a bad idea to try and skirt landlord’s rules. They almost always find out eventually, and you could face eviction or the heartbreaking choice of rehoming one or more beloved pets.
Can you afford them? Obviously, you must be able to afford the new animal. Pets are never a one-time expense! Aside from food and other supplies, vet bills will occur due to routine health checks, vaccinations, heartworm prevention, spaying or neutering, and so on. Do you have a plan to pay for emergencies that can happen?
Do you have the space? Overcrowding can stress animals and lead to illness. But aside from obvious concerns, such as space for enclosures or dog beds, do you have the space to separate animals when necessary?
What about time? Like us, pets need more than food and medical care. They need our time and attention, so we must think carefully about all other obligations and how we will juggle their care.
What about the children? If your kids are begging for another pet, this can be a great opportunity to teach them responsibility. However, keep in mind that many a family pet has been rehomed because a child’s abilities were overestimated. Are you prepared to step in and provide care for this pet, in the event that your child loses interest or can’t handle their duties?
If you’ve assessed all of these questions and feel confident in your decision, then it’s probably time to add a new member to the family! Just remember to visit us right away, so that we can assess your new pet’s health, offer preventive care, help you with advice on diet and care, and answer any other questions that you might have.