Adopting a pet is a wonderful and rewarding experience. You will be giving a second chance to a pet that may not be getting the love it deserves and find a truly devoted friend. It's important not to rush into an adoption though. There are a few things to consider before adopting an animal which would help you and them adapt better to the new situation and give you higher rates of success.Having a pet of any kind is a commitment. You will be responsible for it at all times for the animal’s entire lifetime. If this is something you are happy to do, then read along.
You firstly have to consider if a dog or a cat would be more suited to your lifestyle. Cats tend to be more independent while dogs are social animals and require more attention. However, even cats need love and care throughout the day so make sure you are ready for bringing an animal at home.
Secondly you have to select a breed that's in line with your personality and home life. For example some dogs are really energetic and require regular long walks and exercise like Golden Retrievers and Border Collies. You need to be able to match the dog's energy and give them the time they need for a happy and healthy dog. A good rule is to choose a dog with an energy level equal to or lower than your own.
If you are often bringing people at home and the pet is sociable and happy around new people then that's a perfect match!
Your environment will also determine the type of pet you should adopt also. For example if you live in a flat, a smaller dog or a cat might be more suited. If you have other pets then make sure the new pet likes to be around other animals!
If you have financial restrictions, you have to consider that too. There is a cost involved to keeping a pet, for their food, collars, bedding, toys and vet bills so make sure you are comfortable with covering it, now and in the future.
If you have any questions ask the staff at the shelter as they will know their pet's personalities and special needs and will be able to inform you on which pet is right for you.
If you have time in your day or young children then a puppy will be great, but be aware that they require regular training and attention especially during the first year. They are hard work so make sure you are ready for it!
If you don't have children or time for training, then an older pet can be the perfect match. They usually require much less training and are less energetic so you will have someone to lounge around with.
Either you adopt a young or an old pet though, you still need to have time to give to them. Even older dogs need training, exercise and playtime with you.
If you have children, you should make sure the pet you are thinking to adopt is child-friendly. When going to visit the pet, bring your children along and see how the pet interacts with them and vice versa. If the pet does not get along with your children, they are probably not right for you. With children and teenagers it's important to set some rules before bringing their new friend home. Set expectations like mealtime, cleanup, walk and play schedules. This means everyone knows what to do and you can avoid a messy situation later on.
One important aspect of pet adoption to consider is the health of the pet. Make sure you know about their medical history, any injuries, diseases, or other medical or mental health issues.
Make sure they have their vaccinations and if they don't you can arrange an appointment with a vet to get these done.
Don’t worry if the pet doesn’t look in tip-top shape, though. Regular, attentive care will help reverse many health issues. For pet's with disabilities, you need to be ready to adapt your lifestyle and your home, to help with their needs. Ask the people at the shelter and consult with vet on their special needs and how you will need to deal with them before adopting.