Adopting a pet is a great way to add more love and companionship into your life. However, it is important to think through the practical considerations before you bring a pet home. Questions to ask yourself include:
- What kind of pet do I want?
- What previous experience do I have with this kind of pet?
- Have I checked with my landlord or homeowners association about pet restrictions (if applicable)?
- Do I have enough space for the pet I want?
- Will the expenses involved fit in my budget?
- If my pet needs training, can I commit to it?
- If I already have another pet, how will I manage the integration process?
If you decide to move forward with adopting a pet, consider these options:
- Animal shelter or pet rescue. Your local animal shelter or pet rescue is a good option for finding a pet. Each shelter has its own requirements for adoption, so it may be helpful to do some research before starting the application process.
- Reputable breeders. If you want a purebred, try finding a rescue for that specific breed in your area. If none are available, look for a breeder. Purebred animals are often more expensive to adopt than shelter pets.
- Fostering. Instead of adopting outright, consider fostering a pet. This is a good way to find out if becoming a full-time pet parent is right for you.
Key steps to take once you have adopted a pet include:
- Obtain a pet license (requirements vary based on your county or municipality)
- Schedule a vet appointment to ensure that your pet has all necessary immunizations and arrange for spaying or neutering (if needed)
- Purchase food and other supplies (ask your veterinarian for food recommendations)
- Create a pet care schedule and set up emergency back-up care