Most dogs and cats, with good care, can live to be 10 to 15 years old or older. Before you adopt a puppy or kitten, ask yourself these questions:

  1. To get an idea how long a pet's lifetime may be, consider how old you will be 15 years from now.
  2. How many times do you think you might move in the next 15 years? Are you willing to move the pet too, and restrict your choice of housing to places where pets are allowed?
  3. What major changes might happen in your life in the next 15 years? Marriage? Children? Are you willing to continue spending the time, energy, and money to care for your pet when taking on new responsibilities like these?
  4. What will you do if your spouse or children can't get along with the pet?
  5. If you're getting a pet for children you have now, how old will they be in 15 years? Will you still want this pet after the kids have grown up and moved out?
  6. Have you previously owned a pet that didn't live with you for 10 years or more? If so, what happened to it? What will you do differently with this pet to prevent it from going the way your previous pet did?
Provided by:
The American Humane Association
63 Inverness Drive East
Englewood, CO 80112-5117