Things to Consider when Adopting
IF YOU ARE STRONGLY CONSIDERING ADOPTION, PLEASE READ THE INFORMATION BELOW TO HELP YOU CHOSE THE RIGHT CAT OR DOG FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY:
Please remember: Adoption is for life
Adopting a pet is a major undertaking and should be thought about thoroughly. It is a commitment of your time and money to ensure the best outcome for both you and the animal. With proper, consistent training, your new family member should settle into your home within 3 months. Shelter pets that are older, sometimes come with “baggage” from their former lives that require extra understanding and love. Our Shelter Manager can suggest methods of handling situations that may arise, or we can give you contact information of reputable trainers to help you.
Generally speaking, long-haired dogs and cats will require regular grooming either by your family or a professional groomer. This can be very time-consuming (not to mention expensive!).
Is your home, yard, and car big enough to accommodate a large-breed dog? Are you able to physically handle a large dog? Do you have any physical conditions that may prevent you from exercising or caring for your pet?
It’s back to the money thing again … Just keep in mind that large dogs also require large amounts of food. Another consideration is long-haired pets or those that do not shed, may require regular trips to the groomers.
If your family is the type that goes hiking often you will probably want a pet that you can take with you. If your family tends to stay at home to relax, a cat or a low-activity dog may be better for you.
Are you always traveling (business/pleasure)? Is someone at home for a good part of the day, or is everyone always on the go? If your pet must spend most of its time alone, then you likely won’t be able to provide it with a suitable home at this time.
Kitten or Cat, Puppy or Dog
Baby animals are cute. They’re marvelously intriguing … and a lot of work. If you do not have the time or the patience to train a new kitten or puppy, consider adopting an adult. Adult dogs and cats have plenty of love to give and will bond to their new people.
Where you live and go on Vacation
If you are renting accommodations or going to college, keep in mind that there places that no not allow pets at all, while others allow small dogs or cats but do not permit larger breeds. There may also be restrictions on the number of pets you may have. The same thing goes for vacations: if you would like to take your pet with you, you will find it easier to locate pet-friendly accommodations that allow small pets.
Do you have kids or family members with special needs? Some breeds of dogs are known to be extremely high energy dogs who require a great deal of attention and exercise, such as border collies. Young children in particular place restrictions on the type of dog you can get as some dogs may accidentally knock over a child in greeting or in play. Children and dogs must always be supervised when they are together.
Has everybody in the family agreed to adopting the pet? It is heartbreaking when pets are turned into shelters or abandoned because someone in the family did not want it.
Does anyone have allergies? Spend time with different types of pets if you can. Regardless of claims that a dog or cat is “hypoallergenic”, find out for yourself before you adopt. Dogs and cats both produce dander, which people can be allergic to.
Do you already have pets in the home? What is their disposition towards other animals? Compatibility may be an issue and you should be prepared to work through this for a successful adoption.
There’s no doubt about it: dogs require far more time and effort than cats. Cats are wonderful for people who like the companionship but don’t have time to walk a dog everyday or let it out every few hours to do its “business”. Consider exercise needs, need to regularly eliminate, feeding, training, and attention.
Adopt as a Gift
Please do not adopt a pet as a surprise gift. Many pets are turned into animal shelters every year because the recipient of the pet did not want it. Pets have thoughts and feelings just like we do and it is frightening and confusing to be dumped at a shelter.
If you want to give a pet as a gift, please bring the recipient of the pet with you to choose one for themselves. Or ask if you can purchase a “pet gift certificate” that would allow the person to select a pet when they are ready.