A pet is a long-term commitment (i.e. for the life of the pet) and some can live up to 14 years (or longer). If you cannot commit to the care, love and welfare of a furbaby of any kind for the duration of its life then do not adopt. There are many other ways you can interact with animals without taking on this huge responsibility – such as fostering or volunteering your time at shelters. Checkout our Fur-Time page for our volunteering suggestions.
Before taking on this responsibility, also look at the potential costs associated with the life-long care of a pet as caring for a pet can be expensive, from day to day expenses to any future unexpected medical issues that may arise. Food and shelter is only one part of responsible pet care. Pets will need to be neutered (spayed) as well as immunized on a regular basis to protect them from disease. Caring for an animal in hotter countries also requires consideration of a range of additional aspects.
Pet insurance also does not exist in all countries (such as the UAE) so you need to ensure you are saving sufficient funds for future medical and other expenses along the way.
Other costs and considerations will include initial set up costs (including toys, beds, leads, collars, bowls etc) as well as ongoing grooming and maintenance, training (particularly if your pet has behavioural issues) and of course making the time for regular exercise and play time.
The Resources page has some useful checklists to help you prepare for adopting a new pet (actual cost will depend on many factors, such as the age and health of the pet; access to vets etc).
If you planning on renting your home then you need to research villas and apartments that allow pets, as many don’t. If your prospective landlord is happy for you to have pets in the new home then make sure you get it written into the contract.