Many consider having a pet as a way to strengthen their relationship as a couple. After all, nurturing a pet teaches priceless skills.
Couples improve their communication, teamwork, and willingness to compromise through shared responsibilities.
Making the decision to co-parent a pet is also seen as training wheels for marriage and ultimately for children.
Research conducted by Buffalo University found that pet-owning partners were closer to each other and could manage conflict better than their counterparts with no pets. But how do you know when you’re actually prepared to take that step?
As there are so many great reasons to get a pet, it is easy to become blinded to the challenges – and trust me; there are many.
So before you go ahead and pick out collars and fancy water bowls for your new pet, you’re going to need to make sure you and your partner are ready to be responsible for another life and understand the impact a pet will have on your own.
Some True Signs You’re Ready To Get a Pet together Include:
1. You Both Understand & Can Handle The Financial Responsibility
If you do not have the financial ability to take care of an animal, it’s pretty straightforward to decide on whether or not to get one— don’t. ASPCA reveals that both a puppy and kittens average expense for the first year exceeds $1,000
2. You Have a Stable Routine & Plan
Think about it like this; pets are like cars: To perform at their best, they need routine maintenance.
Routine is something that is often overlooked while considering adopting a pet. Your pet will need to be on a schedule, particularly in the early stages. Consider the amount of time you both spend away from home, both for regular work and for travel. Animals require mental and physical stimulation, much like humans, and may become depressed if they’re alone for long periods of time.
When you adopt a puppy, you may want to find a dog walker in the daytime if you are working long hours. It is important to have a travel plan, as well. Do you have friends or family that can take care of your pet if you are away?
If you haven’t already, put together a shared calendar together that tracks responsibilities big and small. That way, once you bring your pet home, you can readily include pet care on your shared schedule.
3. You Have Great Communication Skills
When owning a pet with your partner, it’s natural for you to feel like you’re a parental unit. Decision-making concerning your pet will show you where your communication skills need improvement and give you a chance to strengthen them. This is why it doesn’t hurt for you and your partner to be proactive and talk about roles now before you adopt a pet.
Time is going to be a major factor once you adopt a pet. Who’s going to be home to feed them? When are they going to be taken out for a walk? Communicate who can devote time and who is going to be the primary caretaker. This will save you tension later on by finding out who is playing what role to care for your pet.
For times when you’re both unavailable to walk or stay home with your pet, it’s a good indication if you can decide on who you trust to care for your pet. It’s like a babysitter, you’ve got to identify who you can trust. Not being on the same page could well give rise to an argument.
Signs Your Not Ready to Adopt a Pet Together
Before you start the process of calling shelters or searching breeders online, acknowledge the advice we’ve gathered from animal and relationship experts online. If you find yourselves identifying with the examples below, maybe it’s not quite the right time for you (yet).
- You debate whose turn it is to do the dishes
- You aren’t comfortable talking about money
- You haven’t spoken about your future together
- You feel as though you need a pet to keep your relationship interesting
- You thrive on impulsive decision making
Does Adopting a Pet Together Mean You’re Ready to Move in Together?
According to Isabella, founder at Delilah Wolf Pack adopting a pet is a massive step for any relationship. While it could indicate a level of commitment and maturity, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ready to move in together. If you’ve had the time to get to know and fully trust your partner, and have had the crucial talk around moving out along and the logistics of it all, then maybe it is time to leap.
But before you go ahead and sign that lease, you’ll have to get practical with your partner about your expectations and your finances.