Adopting a pet: making my choice simply


This is one of the essential points: the compatibility of the animal you plan to adopt, with your young children, and with the other animals in the home. Although each animal has its own temperament, some dog breeds are known to be more calm and peaceful than others, such as the Golden Retriever, the Cavalier King Charles, the Pug or the Bichon.

However, there is no rule: large, imposing dogs can be adorable and gentle with your children, while smaller ones can be more abrupt! The education of your animal and a lot of patience will have their effect!

To accustom a new animal to your small children before the presentations, you can make him smell a blanket or clothes of your little one. The animal will recognize that it is a baby (or young child).

If the animal is a little nervous or even aggressive with your other animals and has a “dominant” tendency, you can always consider taking your new animal to training classes, to learn how to channel it!

Place of life

Do you live in a house or an apartment, with garden, terrace? What type of soil do you have? Where will the dog be allowed in the house? Are there rooms to preserve, with valuable knick-knacks, sofas, rugs or curtains?

  • For cats, it is essential to invest in a cat tree on which you will rub your animal’s paws beforehand (to show him the gesture to reproduce). You can also spray pheromones to lure him in, and use cinnamon, lemon, or pepper spray on areas where you don’t want him scratching or urinating!
  • For dogs, especially lively Jack Russel type breeds or massive dogs, it is essential to offer your pet moments of escape so that he can frolic in the grass, whether in your garden or during walks in nature! It is necessary for his balance and will calm him down before going home!


One of the essential points before adopting a new pet, apart from the actual price of the animal, is the monthly budget, especially in the two main items of expenditure which are food and the veterinarian!

Food budget

  • for cats: from €25 (kibbles) to €50 (bags and trays) per month (i.e. around €600 per year on average)
  • for dogs: approximately €70 per month, i.e. €800 annually

The food budget varies according to the quality of the food, and can quickly go from simple to double if you are not careful about the prices. It is possible to sometimes vary your dog’s diet by mixing your leftover meals with a small dose of kibble (depending on the breed of your animal).

Similarly, avoid “light” products which only contain 20% less calories than the usual croquettes. You might as well gradually reduce the portion given to your animal to rebalance its diet, if necessary!

Veterinary budget

A routine consultation with the veterinarian costs about forty euros (a little less than €100 per year for 2 routine visits per year ).

In general, 1 to 2 annual consultations are enough, for the usual care such as vaccinations or deworming of your animal. But sometimes, in the event of a substantial health problem requiring surgery or prolonged care, the bill can quickly climb!

Diseases represent 3/4 of an animal’s healthcare costs! Please note, unlike general practitioners, veterinarians’ fees are “free”. This means that disparities may exist between several veterinarians near you! If in doubt, ask about the prices charged. On average, count:

  • injection of a vaccine: 70 € (note the first year there are 2 injections of vaccine for your dog or cat)
  • castration of a male: 70 € for the cat, 160 € on average for the dog
  • sterilization of a female: 140 € on average for a cat, 220 € for a female dog
  • deworming: 20 euros per year (treat the animal twice a year)
  • removal of a cyst: approximately €200
  • blood test or laboratory analysis: one hundred euros
  • surgery and hospitalization: almost 1500 €

To prevent this kind of unforeseen expense from weighing down the household budget, you can consider taking out health insurance for your pet, especially for the most fragile breeds. These special animal mutuals are accessible from around ten euros per month.

And on vacation?

Often the summer periods are synonymous with a rookie in animal abandonment because unconscious families have not thought about the essential question in advance:

If we cannot take our animal on vacation  (animals prohibited on the resort or impossibility of taking them in the chosen mode of transport) , who will keep it and what budget should we plan?

Several solutions are available to you and should be considered before adopting your pet:

  • have it looked after by family (e.g. grandparents) or friends
  • that the neighbors come to take care of it at your home (feed it and take it out daily)
  • find a dog-sitter for your pet via specialized sites such as Dog Sitting or local advertisements. The best is still to choose a reliable person, who will have been recommended to you in your locality.

Note : Nearly 100,000 animals are abandoned each year by their masters in France, i.e. more than 11 per hour! You can consider adopting an animal at the SPA and giving it a new life! It’s a great act of solidarity with animals, while being more accessible than buying your animal from a breeder! But remember, welcoming an animal is not done on a whim, it is a commitment of about fifteen years!

NAC alternative

In recent years, traditional dogs and cats have seen the appearance of a multitude of NACs, these New Pets which are now an integral part of the choices to be considered when adopting a new animal. Depending on the type of animal received, the equipment to be provided is more or less substantial and represents a certain budget (vivarium, terrarium, etc.).

NAC types :

  • rodents: chinchillas, rats, mice, ferrets…
  • tropical animals: reptiles such as iguanas, snakes, chameleons but also spiders… Be careful for certain NAC species, it is compulsory to have a breeding capacity certificate!
  • farm animals : inexpensive, they can be very practical on a daily basis, such as chickens to have their fresh eggs every day, or a dwarf sheep from Ouessant which turns out to be an extremely efficient ecological mower!

Leave a Reply