Adopting a pet is a commendable decision – but it can also be very tough to choose a buddy! In fact, the criteria for pet adoption must be well weighted, according to your needs, possibilites and lifestyle, for example. Plus, there’s a “to-do list” following pet adoption. In sum, you should take the right measures to ensure your new four-legged friend will feel… at home! Take a look at our tips, and welcome them in the best possible way! ?
Adopt, don’t shop!
So, you’re driving on the highway, heading to… a mall? Or is it a puppy mill?! Oh no! In our perspective, this is a common and unfortunate mistake – you could be using pet adoption to save a life at the same time as getting a buddy, instead of supporting these non-ethical businesses! For this reason, the first place you should look for is a kill shelter, especially in the middle of the week, when they’re not too crowded and the animals are calmer. If you think you’ve found the perfect buddy, don’t hesitate in taking them with you, as they may not be there on your next visit… ?
? Quick stat: approximately 1.5 million shelter animals (670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats) are euthanized every year (source: American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).
How To Choose The Right Dog To Adopt
Now that you’re at the shelter, there are some aspects you should consider before making your choice. Are you a first-time owner? Are you looking for a new companion for your kids? Or a guard to your home?
? Quick stat: most people prefer pets with lighter, flashier coats, rathen than black ones. Do not judge them by their color! ? ?
This aspect is especially important if you’re looking for a dog to live with you in an apartment. Normally, smaller dog breeds tend to bark more, as a way of compensating their short stature. Also, they’re more sensitive to colder temperatures. On the other hand, big dog breeds are usually more relaxed, but they’ll demand more from your wallet in terms of supplies, vet care and food… Unless you bake your own homemade dog treats, that is! ?
As mentioned before, small-sized dogs are likely to have more energy, while large-sized ones are usually calmer. Their breed can also give you some insight on whether or not the dog you’re considering is very active. However, please note that every dog needs exercise, regardless of their breed. It’s sad to know that many owners give up on their pets because they’re kind of hyperactive… Why didn’t they choose a porcelain dog? ?
Although many people think fur is strictly connected to allergies, that’s not absolutely right. For example, many hypoallergenic dogs are fluffy, but don’t leave that much dander. Fluffier dogs usually demand grooming services, which means you’ll have to spend some time taking care of their coat every day. Also, the fluffier a dog is, the proner they are to getting some ear infections too.
Puppies will demand more attention, training, vet care (in their first months of life) and patience… when they’re done destroying your furniture! Adult dogs, on the other hand, tend to be quieter. However, please note that they also need frequent veterinary check-ups. Unsurprisingly, pet adoption commonly overlooks senior dogs… but old buddies shouldn’t be forgotten!
Breeds have their specific – sometimes unique – characteristics. They can help you preview your pet’s behavior, size, potential health problems or grooming needs. However, mixed breeds deserve the same respect, consideration and they will love you just as much! Plus, experts say they have fewer health problems, are milder and smarter, as they benefit from breed mixing. In the case of dogs, as mixed breeds represent 90% of cage space in animal shelters, adopting one of these buddies will give those that are still locked more room to breathe!
Pet adoption: the first steps
No amount of money can replace the feeling of seeing the buddy you’ve just adopted smiling, because you’ve saved their life! ?
Now that you’ve chosen the perfect pet for you, it’s time to take care of licensing and identification (see below)! Also, before you leave the shelter, ask if the pet you’re adopting has a favorite toy or even a blanket that you can take with you. When you’re in the car, put them in an open crate where they’ll be safe and secure, decreasing any agitation they may feel on their way home.
Get to know your first tasks as a pet parent down here! ?
Pet Licensing & Identification
As said above, you should take care of this matter before you leave the shelter. While microchipping is compulsory everywhere, having a pet license may also be, depending on where you live. Search for this on Google and visit your local vet if deemed required. In addition, attaching a tag to your pet’s collar is also advisable. If you wish to have further control regarding where they are (and were), as well as their activity, Findster Duo GPS pet tracker might be what you’re looking for! ?
Helping Your Pet Adjust to a New Home
After you arrive, you won’t want to stop playing with your new best friend! In some cases they may feel a bit scared at first, because the surrounding environment is new. Here’s what you can do to help you pet adjust to their new home:
- Provide them with a crate in the most comfortable place you have in your house. Make sure there’s nothing dangerous or breakable around them. You should also leave the toy and/or blanket you might have brought from the shelter here.
- Change their food gradually. In the first few weeks, you should feed them with the same food they’re used to.
- If you have kids, make sure they don’t scare or poke your new friend.
- Take your buddy to a vet when you can, making sure all vaccines are up-to-date. If you’re adopting a puppy, the parvovirus (an extremely contagious organism on the intestinal lining) is something you should keep an eye on.
- Make sure they don’t flee, especially in their first days. In this case, creating a virtual fence with Findster Duo can be very useful, as you’ll be notified in real-time if they’re trying to escape. ?
What questions did you have when you had your first pet? Is there any top tip you want to share with those who are considering pet adoption? Help us create a quick guide! ? ? ?