Six Things to Consider Before Adopting
Adopting a pet can be a wonderful thing for you and the pet. Are you ready to be the best pet parent you can be? Opening your home up to an adopted pet and committing to providing a good life for them rescues them from a terrible situation. You’ll learn so much about yourself along the way. Taking care of a pet can be a good way to help determine if you’re ready to have a child. Or, if you have children, pets can help teach them responsibility. Before adopting a new pet, consider these six important things:
Will the pet fit your lifestyle? Wanting a pet is one thing, but being able to take care of the pet is another. If you are traveling a lot, it may be difficult to provide all the pet’s needs, unless there are others you can depend on to help you. Cats are generally easier to take care of than dogs, once cats know how to use a litter box. As long as you can feed cats daily or have an automatic feeder, and have a litter box, they are pretty much self-sufficient. Dogs aren’t as self-sufficient as cats so they require a bit more time, attention, and training. If left unattended, dogs can be destructive, so training to prevent this is recommended.
Does the pet’s personality match yours? Are you a high-energy person or pretty relaxed? Do you enjoy being outdoors or are you a homebody? These factors and many others should be considered before adopting. If you are very active, then you would be able to handle a highly active dog. Being a disciplined person also helps with being consistent for a dog. If you live a more sedentary lifestyle, a lower energy dog or cat might be your best bet.
Can you commit to training? How much time do you have to train your newly adopted pet? Consider the time and consistency needed for the type of pet and the behaviors you would like. Once you train a cat to use their litter box, they are generally low-maintenance as far as training goes. A dog will usually take more time and consistency depending on how you would like them trained. You can train them to use the bathroom on training pads when you are not home or train them to hold it until you return. Whether you want them to be a service dog, guard dog, sports dog, house dog, or any of the other endless possibilities, consider the amount of time and consistency needed to train and maintain them. If they are high energy, they will generally need more strict training and guidance.
How to make your home pet friendly: Do you live in an apartment or house? With others or alone? Before adopting, consider where you would like your pet to be in your place. You may have to put up pet fences to restrict access to certain areas. They may have accidents, so keeping them somewhere that is easy to clean up will be beneficial. Remember to remove from the pet’s living area things like cleaning supplies, trash, plants, shoes, etc. that put the pet or the item at risk. You wouldn’t want them chewing on something that can be life-threatening! Be aware that pets may damage carpet, floors, walls, etc., so learning their behavior and guiding them to the behavior you would like is a must. You may also want to consider having a crate to contain them when you can’t have eyes on them, especially for dogs.
What is the best food to feed? This is a tough question. It’s a matter of personal preference and what works best for your pet. Just like with our food, there are many different options and opinions. This will take some research and being open to change if necessary. You can feed them kibble, wet food, freeze-dried food, cooked food, and/or raw food. Whatever food you choose, pay close attention to how your pet responds to it. Don’t be afraid to mix up your pet’s food a little. Just like us, our pet may get tired of eating the same food every day and it may eventually start causing issues. If they are experiencing diarrhea, vomiting, hot spots, or many other unexplained symptoms, you may want to consider gettingintolerance testing for your pet so that you know if food or environmental changes are necessary to help relieve discomfort.
How to be prepared in case of emergency: Just like with us, anything can happen. Before adopting, consider how you will handle unexpected emergency costs such as treatment for injuries and diseases or surgeries. You may want to price pet insurance. Hopefully, only routine vet visits will be needed.
Considering these six basic things before adopting a pet can save you time and money and give you peace of mind. Adopting a pet is a huge responsibility and can be a wonderful experience. Take your time and be prepared to provide a great life for your adopted pet. And, enjoy the great life that your new pet will bring to you!
Which of these were unexpected before you adopted? What other tips do you have to help prepare for pet adoption? Share your story in the comments.