Bringing a new pet into your home can be an incredibly joyful experience. While it may seem as simple as going to your local shelter to pick out a furry companion, it is very important to take the time to properly research, plan, and prepare when adopting.
Caring for a companion animal can be a big commitment. Aside from providing food, water, and shelter, your new pet will need exercise, engagement, and socialization. They will also need to learn the rules of your house. Together, you will have to navigate a new schedule and routine.
Additionally, when you adopt, you are making a lifetime commitment to that animal. For dogs that can mean up to 10 to 15 years and, for cats, up to 20 years. As your own life progresses and changes, you need to ask yourself whether you’re prepared to accommodate your dog or cat along the way.
Here are the steps you should take to ready yourself and your family for a new animal companion.
Carefully research what type of animal is right for you. Are you active and outdoorsy? Or, are you more of a homebody who enjoys curling up on a couch with a good book? You should choose an animal that will fit or complement your lifestyle. Carefully comb through the listings at your local shelter. Often, there will be information on the individual personalities and energy levels of available animals.
2 Pros & Cons
Ask yourself what the pros and cons are for adopting a pet. A dog or cat can add a lot of love, life, and happiness to your home. However, are you ready for early morning wake-ups to take the dog out to go to the bathroom? Or are you prepared for the cost if your pet gets sick and needs to see a vet? While you may really want to enjoy having an animal in your home, carefully consider whether doing this is the right choice for your current situation.
You’ve researched, you’ve weighed the pros and cons, and now it’s time to make preparations for your pet to arrive. Are your garbage cans sealed? Are there wires or cords that could be chewed? Look your house over and consider what things an animal might get into. Additionally, you’ll need to buy supplies such as bowls, a bed, a crate, and the right food. If you’re adopting a cat, you’ll need to buy a litter box and litter. If you’re adopting a dog, you may need to buy a leash, harness, and collar.
You’ve gone to the shelter, picked the right companion, and are now bringing them home. The first week or two may take some adjusting for both you and your pet. Take the time to allow them to settle in and acclimate to their new surroundings. Be patient, eventually they will start to open up, show their personality, bond with you, and become the perfect companion you’ve always hoped for.SAVE