Thinking about animal adoption? Here's all you need to know

Have you ever thought about adopting a pet? If so, you should definitely take some time reading this article because it will tell you the ins and outs of adoption. Before picking a random pet, you are going to want to think about all of the different possibilities. Also, considering your lifestyle is extremely important.

When adopting an animal, what should I keep in my house?

Getting a new pet is a bit like having a newborn; you want to prepare as much as possible before their arrival. It is crucial that you get everything in your house together and ready. Brittany Feldman, the co-founder of a nonprofit foster-based dog and cat rescue group in New York City, Shelter Chic, revealed, “It’s always good when a new animal is coming into the home to help them adjust and make sure they are busy. So making sure they have bones, bully sticks or Kongs is a great idea. You can even fill the Kongs with peanut butter or cream cheese and throw them in the freezer.”

For cats, she adds, “Cats play with everything they’re not supposed to, so a scratching post is very important, and toys as well!”

How does adoption work?

Every place you go will have different methods and processes of adoption. Almost all shelters require applications and references. Feldman notes:

“They should ask friends, co-workers or family members for references — someone who knows you really well and can vouch that you would make a responsible pet owner.”

Another step is the adoption fee. Many shelters require you to pay a fee, so be ready. These fees usually go towards the upkeeping of the shelter.

Do I need to be home?

Feldman says,

“It depends on the animal you’re bringing home. I don’t think you have to necessarily plan to take time off work when you first adopt, since you want your dog or cat to adjust to your lifestyle.”

Make sure if you are not home, you make arrangements for the pet to be taken care of or let out. Do not neglect your new pal.

Am I ready?

Feldman advises,

“The most important thing, from an emotional standpoint, is realizing that this is not just a short-term thing. Dog-sitting for friends, watching someone’s cats and fostering is always a good test if you’re having doubts. It gives you a good idea of what to expect and to see if an animal fits with your lifestyle.”

She adds, “Financial stability is another thing to consider when deciding to adopt, notes Feldman. “You don’t need to be wealthy to adopt an animal, but things happen, and dogs and cats have medical needs beyond the annual vet bills. If finances are a concern at all, I would suggest setting up a phone call or going into your vet to see what the prices are, because it changes so much depending on where you are located.”

Be prepared for anything and everything. Do not limit yourself to one option because if they do not pick you, it will be frustrating. Keep your options open.  Feldman notes, “You have to be prepared to not necessarily get that dog. People get tunnel vision where ‘This is their dog’ and it’s frustrating for us, because we have lots of dogs that could be similar, and might even be a better fit.”

She adds, “Don’t give up. Just because you lost out on the one dog at the one shelter that time doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to rescue the type of dog that you want.”

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