Adopting a pet is such an exciting thing for any family. Kids growing up with pets in the house learn about compassion, kindness, and, of course, how to be responsible for another living thing at a young age.
When you consider adopting a pet, there are a few things you should consider before starting the process, as well as deciding factors to keep in mind. For most people, it’s a dog they will be looking to adopt, but if you’re thinking of adopting a cat, the steps will be quite similar.
1. Establish A Budget
The first is to establish a budget. If you have the means to do so, there are many dogs from which you can choose that will require minimal care and thus be more cost-effective over time. But if you do not have the adequate funds to take care of a pet for an extended period of time, you should consider looking at discounted or free dogs and puppies through shelters and rescues.
You also want to remember that dog expenses can quickly add up.
2. Research The Perfect Pet For You and Your Family
You want to make sure you seem a good fit with the right dog breed for you and your family. If you’re still not sure about which breed is best for your family, speak with someone who isn’t biased or knowledgeable about specific breeds.
If you have children, look into dog breeds that are known to be more kid-friendly. If you have other pets, don’t forget to consider how they’ll get along with your potential new pet.
3. Find A Local Shelter or Rescue Group for More Options
If you’ve narrowed down the dog breeds that will fit into your lifestyle and home, it’s time to look at shelters and rescues. Most of these organizations will have dogs or cats available for adoption, or they will be able to alert you to some that are available.
If you’re looking for a certain breed, some shelters may offer some good leads on where you can find them.
Be sure to speak with the staff at the shelter and ask what you should know about the pet prior to adopting him or her. You want to ensure that you’re getting what you pay for and that the person taking care of the pet has been checked out as well.
4. Research Your Pet Services Options
Whether you decide to go with a commercial pet sitter, a local residential pet sitter, or a professional all-around pet care service company like Exceptional Pets, make sure you do your research and ask around. Find out how often they come to your house and what their rates are.
While it may seem like a small detail, remember that you don’t want to be left in the lurch if something were to happen to the person who is looking after your pet while you’re away.
5. Get a Pet Insurance Quote
It’s a good idea to get a quote for pet insurance before you take on an animal. Most reputable companies will provide free quotes for consumers. At the very least, you’ll have an idea of what you need to save up for routine procedures, unexpected medical expenses, and other potential pet-related issues that may pop up.
6. Check Your Pet’s Health And History
Another crucial thing to do is to make sure your potential new pet has had any health tests they will need before entering your home. Microchipping pets is also a great way to ensure if the animal gets lost or separated from his family, he or she can be reunited with them.
Checking veterinary records can ensure that any minor issues were addressed and will save you from paying for them later on down the line. Be sure to ask what sort of food they recommend as well as how much you should feed them each day, along with how often they should be let out for walks or bathroom breaks.
7. Ask About Vaccinations
You should also ask for proof of vaccinations. While a rabies check isn’t a must, it’s a good idea. It also helps to make sure your pet has been checked for heartworm, as well as flea and tick infestation.
8. Book Them In For Spay or Neutering
You should also ask if your potential pet has been spayed or neutered. The procedure is usually a good idea for both dogs and cats in order to prevent unwanted litter. It is a procedure that can be done in most clinics, so it’s relatively inexpensive, and you do have the option of going to a clinic or having it done by a vet in your home.
As a side note, male dogs should not be neutered until they are at least 14 months old, preferably after 24 months of age, especially for larger dogs who require the hormones for growth and strength.