Issues to consider when adopting a pet

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A pet may be more expensive than you think. Be realistic about how much you can afford. Here's a run down of start-up expenses relating to different pets:

Amphibians, reptiles, and fish: Aquarium, filter, heater, plants, owner's manual.
Birds and rodents: Cage, bedding or cage liner, dishes, toys, owner's manual.
Dogs and cats: License, collar, leash, brush, toys, dishes, bed, owner's manual.
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Here are some other ongoing costs to consider:

Food
Bedding
Litter
Grooming or grooming supplies
Regular well-pet veterinary care
Sick, trauma, or emergency veterinary care
Vaccinations and other medical care as needed

Do you have the time and energy to feed, clean or groom, handle, train, exercise, and take your pet to the veterinarian regularly? Here's a run down of minimum time needed to provide basic care for a pet:

*Amphibians, reptiles, and fish
10 minutes per day, plus 3 hours every few weeks
*Hamsters, mice, guinea pigs, and rabbits
30 minutes per day
*Cats and birds
30 to 60 minutes per day
*Dogs
More than one hour per day
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Remember that these times are bare minimums, and all pets deserve to be in a loving home with people who have the time and energy to take care of them and spend time building the special bond.
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