Adopting a pet can be a very rewarding experience. You can save a life while also starting a new friendship. Before choosing to adopt, though, there are a few things you need to know.
First, you need to understand and plan for everything that goes into owning a pet. You may have had pets growing up, but being fully responsible for one on your own is a completely different story. If you are a renter, make sure you discuss bringing a pet into the house with your landlord and roommates. Some landlords will say it’s ok, but then change their minds, so it is imperative that you get a document in writing outlining the terms and, if any, the amount of pet rent.
You need to be realistic in your choice of pet. If you are living downtown in a small house or apartment, choose a pet that will fit well and have little exercise requirements. Make sure you have time to care for the animal as well. Most dogs will need to be walked or exercised every day in order to maintain a healthy weight and burn some of their energy. With our busy schedules today, doggy day camps can be a great option. Your dog will receive attention all day as well as be socialized and exercised with other dogs and people. When you pick your pet up at the end of the day they will be ready to relax and hangout with you.
Being financially able to pay for the pet and all of its cost is another big part of being a responsible pet owner. Adoption fees usually range from $100-250 dollars and tend to include alteration, micro-chipping, shots and deworming. Many shelters also require that the pet see a vet within two weeks of adoption, which could be costly if further treatment is needed. You have to take into account all of the things a dog or cat could need, such as food, leashes, kennels, pet beds, litter boxes, training pads, toys, treats, and flea medication. Your pet may also need further requirements like obedience training, housetraining, doggy daycare, and grooming which can add up as well.
The application to adopt a pet can be difficult depending on which shelter you go to. You have to be at least 21 years old and provide a copy of your lease if renting before even being considered. Your background should be clean and the animal cannot be a gift or a surprise. All members of the household should be in agreement and come to the shelter to meet the pet. If you own another dog you can also bring it to the shelter to meet the new addition to make sure they get along. If you already own a cat and are considering a dog, make sure the shelter cat tests the dog before bringing it into your house.
There is a lot of care and attention that goes into owning a pet and it is something that takes deep consideration. You should visit many different shelters and meet with several animals before making a final decision. If something goes terribly wrong with your new pet, most often the shelter will take it back, but you should try everything possible before opting to do that. Many of these animals in the shelter have had rough lives and moving them from house to house can contribute to their problems. The shelter should give you information on all of the animal’s behavioral problems and whether it is housetrained before adoption. However, an animal can act differently at the shelter and abruptly change when it becomes accustomed to you and its new home, so keep this in mind. Most problems can be cured with a little training, so don’t be in a rush to give up on your new pet. They need to learn the “rules” of your home, for instance, they may have been allowed to sleep on the bed in their last home and may need reinforcement if you wish to break that habit.
There are so many great animals that need adopted, so if you are looking for a pet think about choosing to adopt rather than purchasing from a breeder.