Five Questions to Ask Yourself When Adopting a Pet
By Kayla Anderson
Are you Ready?
Story by Kayla Anderson
ADOPTING A PET from an animal shelter can be rewarding for both you and your new furball, as many wonderful, cute and loving animals are yearning for a permanent home. Plus, you are much more likely to find a pet that’s already neutered and housebroken, and you may even save their life.
However, bringing a pet into your home is a tremendous responsibility. Many dogs and cats need a lot of attention and mental stimulation, just like people do. Therefore, while pets provide great companionship and trust, it’s important to ask yourself these five questions before introducing your new fur baby to their fur-ever home:
1. Do you rent or own your home? Dogs (and cats) are known to chew on doors, tear up carpet, go to the bathroom in the house and get into other kinds of mischief while you are away. Preparing for a bit more wear and tear than you’re used to is inevitable with a new pet, which is why it’s important to make sure you can offer your pet a stable environment that you and/or your landlord is okay with. Some animal shelters require that you bring a lease as part of the application process to doublecheck the verbiage on what’s allowed in your living space.
2. Will your pet be kept indoors or outdoors? This is a big consideration, because if you have an indoor cat or dog – unless it is toilet trained – then where is your pet going to go to the bathroom? If Spot or Bella is meant to be inside, have a designated place that doesn’t interfere with your other roommates’ personal space. If it’s an indoor/outdoor pet, be sure to have a properly enclosed space or fenced-in backyard (keep in mind that huskies can jump six-foot fences) and pay attention to the weather elements.
3. Do you have time to take your dog on walks? If you have your heart set on adopting a cuddly pit bull, make sure it has a little room to roam. Dogs need exercise, and the fact that you’ll get some, too, is a bonus.
4. Do you already have pets? If so, bring them to the shelter to make sure your potential addition is compatible with your current roommates. Many people have a predetermined idea of what breed of dog they’re going to get, but then they end up going home with the furry friend that resonates the best with the rest of the crew.
5. Are you ready for the paperwork, or prepared for a delay in being able to take your pet home? Many animal shelters are just as committed to finding the proper match as you are and want to make sure that you are ready to love and keep a domesticated animal that could’ve previously been neglected or abused. That’s why many shelters require potential adopters to fill out an application form and give it a few days for it to be approved.
Opt to Adopt
Adopting a dog or a cat from an animal shelter can be rewarding because you are helping shelters from becoming overcrowded and giving a deserving pet a new chance at life. Some of the biggest challenges to keep in mind are not only veterinary care costs, but providing your pet with proper stimulation tools such as toys, treats, pet perch, etc., that cater to your pet’s unique quirks and personality. It’s important when adopting a pet to know how to take care of them and accept full responsibility for your decision.
Adopting a pet is a lifetime commitment, and the staff and volunteers at local adoption agencies can help you determine if the time is right to bring a new pet into your family. •