If you’re considering a new pet; read this!
You have finally decided it is time to bring in a new family member. You bought the bed and the toys. You have let your family know there will be a new addition coming soon. Now you just have to head down to the shelter to decide who it will be!
Bringing a new pet into your life can be a wonderful experience. However, often times adopters can overlook certain aspects of their own life that may make your new pet a not-so-great match for you and your family. This can result in the animal ending back up in the animal shelter. So how do you prevent this? It may not always be preventable, but considering the following things first will give you a great chance of finding the perfect pet for you!
Does your potential new pet fit your activity level?
If you love to be outdoors and active with a pet, picking one that can do these things with you is a great idea! Often times, dogs mixed with Labrador, border collie, pit bull, and shepherd make amazing candidates for people who love the outdoors and staying active. If staying home, relaxing, and needing quiet fits your lifestyle more, picking a great snuggly cat, or dogs known for being “lap dogs”, like maltese, yorkies, or bichon frises’ can help give you a pet to fit those needs. Remember though, not all animals run true for their breeds! There are yorkies that love to hike, very calm pitbulls that would rather stay on the couch, and cats that would love to hit the road with you!
Does anyone in your family have allergies?
Often times, allergies are a common cause for animals showing back up at the shelter after being adopted. If you know you have a family member that struggles with allergies, this is something to think about. Even pets that are deemed hypoallergenic can still cause sensitive skin and noses to flare up. If you notice an increase in allergies after getting a pet, there are a few options to help with this. Make sure you wipe your pet down with a damp cloth or pet wipe after they come in from outside. Pets can bring in the elements that can even make seasonal allergies flare. Give your pet a nice comfy spot to sleep and hangout that is not in your room or bed, and wash their bed often. Bathe your pet often to help with dander and pollen collecting on coats. Make sure you wash your hands after playing with your pet, and consider over the counter allergy medications to be taken regularly.
Does your budget allow for a new pet?
A great thing about adopting a pet from a rescue or shelter is that often times they will have low adoption fees that also come with a round of vaccinations, spay or neuter, microchipping, and sometimes even a bag of food! However, even though this does seem cost efficient, animals are an expense through their entire life. Making sure you feel comfortable paying for regular veterinary appointments, emergencies that may arise, quality dog food, and the accessories the help pets have a great life like toys, bedding, and collars. This is essential when deciding if you are ready for a new pet!
Does your living situation work for a new pet?
Some animals are better suited for apartment living, while others really need large spaces to run and explore. Consider your living situation prior to adopting a new pet. Often times, families feel that not having a great backyard makes it hard for them to adopt. Regular walks (or hiring a dogwalker like Solgave Animal Solutions!) can really help this situation and still give your pet adequate restroom breaks, exercise, exploration and socialization. If your living situation requires you to travel often, finding a pet that is ok being somewhat independent can be really helpful. However, again this is something that Solgave Animal Solutions is happy to help with, with services like pet sitting and overnight care!
Will your new pet fit with your family dynamics?
New pets are very exciting, and often times it is easy to go to the shelter and pick the one you think is cutest. However, this can lead to pets being returned because despite the cuteness, they just didn’t fit in with the family. If you have small children that may be learning to walk, you will want to be cautious picking a large, hyper dog as they could easily knock children over unintentionally. Some dogs and cats do amazing with children, and others may have never been around children or are scared of them. Puppies are fun, but they can chew on things left out and often can soil carpet that little ones may be crawling on. Many of these issues can be resolved with training and time, but take in consideration your willingness to do so. It is also important to make sure you are not leaving the caretaking responsibilities up to your child completely. Although pets are a great way to learn responsibility, children grow, change, and have different seasons in their lives just like pets. Be prepared to give specific chores to family members but also know that these chores may come on to your plate as well. Make sure you teach children proper ways to play with and pick up animals to keep both your pet and your kids safe!
Although this may seem like a lot of information to consider when adopting a pet, it is crucial to think about so you can find your perfect match. Knowing the breed(s) you are adopting and what their behaviors tend to be is so important but also remembering that not all animals fit their breed standards. Talking with shelter and rescue workers about your desires when it comes to your lifelong companion is extremely helpful in making sure that you pick the perfect family member. Many shelters have Foster to Adopt programs that let you bring an animal home on a trial basis to see how it goes. Adoption is such a fulfilling and wonderful choice. Often times, you may come to realize that not only did you choose and rescue an animal, but they chose and rescued you too.