Congratulations on deciding to adopt a new pet! A surprisingly large number of changes for both the pet and you will come with the adoption, so make sure you're well-prepared for your new friend's arrival.
Here we've compiled a checklist to get your relationship off on the right foot (or paw, as the case may be)!
1. Where to adopt a pet?
You’ll find so many Animal Rescues and Shelters for pet adoption if you do some online research. We suggest that you choose the one which has a good reputation, is legitimate and non-profit.
2. Learn as much as possible about the pet you are interested in re-homing
Ask the rescue/shelter for details about the pet's history, age, health, personality, behavior, habits, grooming needs, etc. All this information will be beneficial when considering if the pet is suitable for your home.. It’s also important to collect some first-hand data. So don’t forget to spend some time alone with the pet!
3. Minimize your expectations of how the pet will behave when you get home
Be aware that how the pet will behave in your home is likely going to be different from how it does at the rescue/shelter. It will take time for the pet to settle into your household routine and feel at ease in its new surroundings. Be patient and loving, as it is not the pet's fault if it misbehaves. With time and training, the pet can make a satisfying transformation.
4. Do you have enough time to care for a pet?
You need to understand the time commitment required when bringing a pet into your life. Feeding, exercise, grooming, training, playtime, social activities, and providing attention and company are all critical aspects of pet ownership, and these may take a considerable amount of time each and everyday.
5. Can you afford a pet?
There are many costs involved with pet ownership. You will need to be prepared to pay for ongoing costs associated with food, housing, annual health checks, vet bills, training, boarding, and toys for the life of the animal. If an emergency occurs, make sure you can pay for the required veterinary treatment.
6. Your freedom will be limited
If you are planning to adopt a pet, but expect to keep your jet-setting lifestyle, long hours at work, or regular trips away, think again. A pet, in some sense like a baby, will limit your freedom.
If your life is too busy to include a pet, you either need to adjust your schedule or forget the adoption.
7. Is your home appropriate for a dog?
Do you rent a home? If so, you might need to talk with the landlord before becoming a pet owner. What about the size? A studio apartment may not be ideal for a large pet. Do you have children or other pets? What if they don’t welcome the new member?
8. Are you prepared to care for a pet for its whole life?
The most popular pets in America are dogs and cats, whose average lifespan is around 12 years. It is a serious lifelong commitment that requires time and careful attention. Before you get a new pet, be sure you are ready to commit to responsible pet ownership.
9. When NOT to adopt a pet?
It's wise to avoid adopting a pet under the following circumstances:
• You are in the process of moving.
• You are redecorating your home.
• You are about to have a baby.
• It's the holiday season.
• Someone in your house is going through a major life event.