Now that we have all more or less adjusted to our “stay at home” situations, you may just be thinking about adding to the family….
Adopting a pet into your family is more than just hitting up the local shelter, breeder, or pet store. Most people don’t realize that bringing said pet home necessitates purchasing supplies and doing some basic training. As a result, many pets get turned in as owners are not prepared. That’s why shelters are so packed these days. In fact, when animals are not what owners want or don’t behave the way they expect, pets do get turned in. To forestall this unfortunate scenario, I am sharing the following tips on how to adopt the perfect pet.
Research – Do your homework in advance. Decide what type of pet, particularly, what sub-type or breed you want. Read up on it at the local library and online. I remember when my young nieces and nephew did research to find the best breed for their family and lifestyle, presenting the facts to my brother and sister-in-law, turning the whole endeavor into a joyful, unifying family project before even beginning their search for what turned out to be the most loving, adorable dog, Lakota, a fluffy white American Eskimo breed, whom we all came to love.
Look Ahead – Look down the long road at what a pet may or may not need. A colleague and her husband were shocked and annoyed, but prepared and, therefore, unperturbed, by their boxer needing major knee surgery a mere three months after he first came home. Our own childhood pet, Caesar, a mild-tempered, loving black Lab, sat on his tail one day…..if you can imagine! Who knew it was even possible, let along how costly the vet bills were to care for the poor dear.
Train – Consult with a dog trainer and have a plan for training and socializing (dogs) your pet.
Ask Questions – Don’t fall in love with cuteness. Puppies and kittens are adorable. So are some of the dogs and cats on a rescue’s web pages. Ask questions about vet bills, pet origins, and habits as well as reactions to people and children before you adopt. Don’t be scared off by red flags such as ‘Has accidents every day’ or ‘Pees outside the litter box’. You can learn to remedy these by investing time in training your pet to stop. You just need to be prepared that this will definitely require your time and patience.
Living Situation – Consider your living situation, particularly if you rent. Consult your landlord and/or homeowner’s insurance agent before you even go looking. Cats and certain dogs may not be allowed in apartments or condos. To bring this to light, pitbulls and staffordshire terriers are two dog breeds specifically excluded on homeowner’s policies. Before even beginning your search for a pet to enhance your family life, determine what, if any, you are allowed to adopt.
Have Fun – Pets are adorable, funny, and a ton of fun. Their loyalty and unconditional love can bring hours of loving enrichment to your family as well as years to your life.
Knowing all that you may be in for in advance and doing your research will give you the pet that will best fit into your now newly expanded family.
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