Pet adoption is a huge life choice with far-reaching implications. If you’re used to a lot of freedom and financial flexibility, it is time to get ready for a few, rather large, shifts. Pets require a great deal of time, attention, and money, but the rewards are nothing short of amazing!
It’s one thing when you sign up to provide lifelong care to an adorable, playful, companionable pet. But when you adopt a pet with someone you’re dating there are some important considerations to review beforehand.
If you and your significant other are wondering about joint pet ownership, you’re probably pretty committed to each other. Indeed, adopting a pet can add meaning to your relationship for many years to come. However, when sharing responsibilities with another person, communicating your expectations and goals is crucial to success.
Life Long Love
Many pets are living well past their first decade. What does this mean for a dating couple? Your pet could live longer than your relationship, so it’s best to have a plan for their future.
Facing Every Facet
Before you adopt a pet together, it’s necessary to hash out the financial responsibilities. Because pet ownership can affect nearly every facet of your lives, we encourage you and your significant other to be honest and forthright about what each of you can bring to the table.
If one of you has debt, or works a crazy schedule with long hours, try to work toward an arrangement in which both of you feel that you’re participating equally in the care of your pet.
Know In Advance
It may seem trite at first, but successful partners in pet ownership know exactly what their role is. Take for example, waste removal. No one wants to do it but it must get done – every single day. When you know whose turn it is to pick up the yard or scoop the litter you’re less likely to argue or, worse, elect not to do the chore at all.
Have a Plan
Of course, many married couples adopt pets and then divorce. They could end up sharing custody of the pets or simply let them go to the other person. This can be very stressful to the animals involved, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
Pre-nuptial agreements can have a pet clause in them that defines what happens to the pet(s) shared by a divorcing couple. This can also hold up for unmarried couples that decide to adopt a pet together, but it must be discussed, signed (preferably in the company of disinterested parties) and respected in case of a break up.