Bringing home a new pet is an exciting decision and process, but it is important to remember that doing should shouldn’t be done on a whim. There are a few thoughts and considerations that should be made in advance before taking on the responsibility of a pet.
- Do Your Homework. Before heading to the pet store or the animal shelter, do some research into the type of animal you are wanting to bring home. Be aware of how large your new pet could turn out to be, what it eats, how much exercise it requires, and any other facts that are pertinent to pet ownership. By being informed about your choice, you can be sure that you don’t make a rash decision and your pet does not end up back at the shelter.
- Check The Rules. Depending on where you live, the type of animal you bring home may be restricted. Rentals often limit the size, breed, and/or quantity of pets—and some counties in Florida do as well. Miami-Dade, Sunrise, and Chipley county all ban the ownership of pit bull breed dogs and many places in the State of Florida restrict ownership of exotic breeds of animals. Homeowner’s aren’t exempt from rules. Many HOAs will have clauses regarding pet ownership. Before bringing any new animal home, be sure it does not violate any local, state, or living community regulations.
- Contact Your Insurance Agent. If the above puts you in the clear for a new pet, contact your insurance agent to see if your new family member will be covered under your renter’s or homeowner’s policy. Many policies allow for pet clauses to be added in case your pet causes injury—personal or property. It is important to note that some carriers may also have restrictions on the type of breed the pet policy will cover. You may not be able to get coverage for your pet’s actions if your carrier restricts the breed of your new pet.
- Prep Your Home. Make sure everyone (including other pets) are prepared for the new animal’s arrival. If possible, have other pets meet the new pet before it comes home. Also be sure your home is pet proof—no breakables at pet level that could be knocked down or other hazardous items out in the open.
- Find a Vet. New pets often mean vaccinations. Find a local vet and keep their information is on hand in the event of emergencies. Check out their office hours, availability outside of those hours, and reviews from other pet owners/
If you are ready to bring a new pet home or perhaps you need to find a new insurance carrier that will take on your pet breed, contact the independent insurance agents of Magruder Agency to find the right carrier and policy for you, your pet, and your new lifestyle as a pet owner.