You want to adopt a pet, but you’re not sure where to start. What steps do you need to take? What food, toys, and supplies do you need? Most importantly, how do you know which pet is right for you? Adopting a pet is a big commitment and all the unknowns may leave you feeling a bit overwhelmed. But don’t let that stop you from adding a new member to your family! Here’s everything you need to know about adopting a pet.
Where to Start Your Search
Always start with your local animal shelters. Many of them have websites or social media pages talking about pets they have available for adoption. You may also want to stop in and talk to the staff, so they know what you’re looking for. If they get in a pet that might be a good match, they’ll let you know. Be sure to tell them what your wants and needs are. Do you have a big yard, little kids, or other pets? Do work or travel a lot? Telling them what your home is like will help them find a pet that will suit you best. Be sure to do your own research, too. Make sure you know what your future pet’s needs will be.
How to Know You’ve Found the Right One
Falling in love with an animal is easy but loving one for a lifetime is another story. Asking yourself a few questions before you adopt a pet is the most important step in adopting one. Here’s what you need to consider.
- Will the new pet get along with other family members? For example, some pets don’t do well around little kids. An energetic, rambunctious dog may not be the best choice for older folks. If you have other pets in the home, will they all get along?
- Who is going to be responsible for the animal’s care? Do they have the time required to do a good job?
- Can you afford the pet financially on a daily basis and when there’s an emergency?
Be sure to talk with the staff at the shelter, the foster family, or whoever has been caring for the pet you’re thinking about adopting. Try to get a good sense of the animal’s personality or any behavior issues he has. Most shelters will allow you to spend some time with the pet, so you can see how well the two of you connect.
Once you bring your new pet home, your vet will be happy to answer any concerns you have about his health or behavior. You can also reach out to a pet sitter or trainer in your area for additional help. Few things feel better than taking in a pet who needs a home, just be sure to do the necessary research before you make your choice.