Adopting a pet is one of the happiest moments in a person's life and you should really look at the possibilities when it comes to adding a new furry family member. There are plenty of great animals waiting for people like you at hundreds of shelters throughout the country, and you do not have to pay a lot of money to take them into your home. It is however necessary to understand what you are getting into when you decide to adopt an animal. That knowledge is not to discourage you from doing it; it is so that you are certain that you will have a great experience when bringing your new pet home.
A Long Term Commitment
The first thing that you need to understand when you are looking into pet adoption is that it is a long-term commitment. Even if you decide to adopt an adult dog or cat, you can expect that commitment to last for a few, to several years. You need to make sure that you and your family know that this is everyone in the household's responsibility. The good news is that pet adoption is usually a responsibility that people love to undertake. That responsibility is what will help you develop a bond between you and your pet.
To give you an idea of what to expect from the animal that you are adopting, you should ask the rescue group or shelter how old the animal is and what the life expectancy is. Keep in mind that older pets need homes too so if you are willing to take them in you are doing something great for them. Some cat and dog breeds live longer than others so ask a vet or a trainer what to expect from your new best buddy.
You Will Be Busy
Your new pet needs attention. Your new dog or cat will be home most of the time so you will need to stay there with them most of the time as well. Your dog needs to go on walks, take showers, play with you, get fed, groomed and protected. A cat can more independent but you will still need to play with it, feed it, care for it and spend some time with it. If you are a single person that spends most of your time away from home then you will need to make a few changes to your routine to make sure your new best friend's happiness.
The family structure is great for pets because there is a better chance that someone will be there to care for them. If you are a single person and you work full-time, then you may want to think about adopting two pets so that they can keep each other company while you are not home. If you do decide to go with two pets instead of one, you will still have to spend some time with them, but they will be less likely to get lonely or develop destructive behavior. You also have to keep an eye out for changes in behavior. Your pet cannot tell you verbally if something is wrong, so a change in behavior may signal that it is sick. To detect those changes you need to spend a lot of time with your pet.
Puppies And Kittens Are Cute, But...
A lot of people decide to go with a puppy or a kitten when they adopt, and while that means that you have more time to develop a great bond it also has a downside. Caring for your new puppy or kitten will be a lot more difficult than caring for an older dog or cat. With young age comes a lot of energy that you and your family will have to try to help burn. You also have to think of potty training a dog or getting a lot of scratches from a kitten which you probably would not have to worry with an adult animal.
You will also need to puppy or kitty proof your home. When animals are babies they really do not know how they can get into trouble. You could see them chewing on electric wires to get relief when their teeth are growing. They can also get into trouble under furniture, windows, bathrooms, your kitchen etc. Since you likely can't keep your eyes on them all the time, you need to make sure they are safe when you are not looking. There are books available which can help you make sure that your home is safe for a new pet.
It Costs Money
Pet adoption is cheap when you go to a shelter or a rescue group, but in the long run it will cost a lot of money. Your new pet is an important member of your family so you will want to get them the best food and pet services that you can. You will find cheap pet food at the grocery store, but that is not exactly the most nutritious out there. Take a look at the ingredients and you will realize that most of the things in cheap pet food are not anything you would want your pet to eat.
You will also have to spend money on vet visits and vaccinations. Your pet’s health is very important to you and to your family, so if you do not keep up with the regular checkups you could find that your little friend is getting sick more often. It is also important to take them to the vet because any problem that gets taken care of early is a lot more likely to have less risk and a lower cost.
They Need You
The pets at a shelter definitely need you. If you are thinking about pet adoption and think you can handle it then you should head to the closest shelter. A lot of those shelters need to make room for new animals so they will euthanize the ones that have been there for a certain time. This isn't done because the shelters enjoy doing it, but rather because funds and space are not available. You can save the life of a very loyal friend by visiting a shelter and adopting today.