Pets add fun, companionship, and love to our lives, but they’re also a big responsibility. Choosing to add a pet to your famiy is a very important decision. Sometimes, adopting a pet may be too much added responsibility if you’re experiencing other life-changes at the same time. Take this quiz to assess what’s happening in your life now, and in the near future, to help you decide if this is the best time to adopt a pet.

Add ONE point for each of the following events that have either occurred in your life in the past six months, or that you think may occur in the coming six months:

Divorce or end of a relationship


Change in living arrangements (new roommates or moving in with significant other)

Move to a new residence

Pregnancy or new baby

Longer hours or increased responsibility at work

Financial concerns

Children leaving home or moving back home

Care-taking responsibilities for elderly or ill family member

Significant changes in family routine

Death of a family member

Death or disappearance of a family pet

Relinquishment of a pet (given away or brought to an animal shelter)

Significant health problems of a family member

Change in working status of a family member (begins work, changes jobs, or retires)


Frequent travel, either for business or pleasure

Limited leisure or free time

Graduation from high school or college

Disagreement among family members about adopting a pet

* Add one point for every pet you currently have (one aquarium counts as one pet).


0-3: Your life seems fairly stable. Now is probably a reasonable time to acquire a pet.

4-6: You have a lot of responsibilities right now. Although adopting a pet may still work for you, a small mammal, an adult cat, or well-trained, adult dog would probably be more appropriate than a kitten, a puppy, or an active breed of dog.

7-10: Let’s think twice about this. With all the changes and responsibilities in your life right now, you may not have time to care for a new pet. It would probably be better for both you and the pet if you wait until your life settles down a bit.

10+: STOP! DON’T PASS GO! Acquiring a pet now is not a wise decision. Why not consider a pet rock or a “computer-pet” instead?
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