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Everything you need to consider before adopting a pet

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It’s a lifelong commitment

As Gail Buchwald, senior vice president of the ASPCA Adoption Center, tells Mashable, cats can live up to 15 to 20 years, while the average dog’s lifespan is 10 to 15.

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Every breed is different

“So if you don’t go for walks or outside much, you may want to consider getting something like a pug.”

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Size matters

If you live in a cramped condo, but love big dogs, you may want to consider holding off on bringing a pup home until you have the appropriate amount of space.

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Consider the cost

On its website, the charity says that rabbits and guinea pigs prefer new bedding, which costs $415 each year, while cats' litter costs $165.

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Vaccination is mandatory

According to the ASPCA, there are several vaccinations most pets should get—many are even mandated by law.

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Do some shelter research

“Fortunate homeless and unwanted animals end up in the hundreds of open-admission animal shelters that are staffed by professional, caring people.”

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You should spay or neuter

Believe it or not, but The Humane Society of the United States says the single best thing you can do for your new pet is to spay or neuter them.

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Do you have or want kids?

Many studies demonstrate that kids and pets have a strong link, yet you can't bring any pet home to play with your kids.

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