Things to Consider Before Bringing a New Pet Home

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During the pandemic many people rushed out to adopt pets to satisfy that bounty of love and companionship that they provide. After all, those new pet parents had more time for them since many began working at home. As the pandemic numbers started to decline, a lot of others found they had to return to their former workplace, which left a problem for those new furry members of their family, suddenly left alone. Therefore, here are some important things to consider before bringing a new pet home that can help avoid behavioral problems in the future.

A good place to start is examining what your lifestyle is like before visiting the shelter and falling in love with one of those sweet faces. Perhaps, you are not athletic and consider yourself more of a couch potato. Nonetheless, you were thinking of a dog such as a German shepherd, Labrador retriever, Siberian husky or a border collie. Though as wonderful as those dogs or mixed breeds of those lines can be, they also have a lot of energy and need to run. If you can’t devote time to play and walk with them outdoors, these types of dogs may not be the best matches for your family for a happy future together. To avoid potential problems later, you may want to settle for breeds or mixtures of those such as pugs, chow chows, miniature schnauzers, basset hounds, Yorkshire and cairn terriers that are fairly laid back and easier satisfied remaining indoors.

Another thought is considering a cat or a senior dog that is just as lovable and often more grateful for a chance at a permanent home over youngsters that adopt out more quickly. Believe it or not, the most loving animal that I had was a senior cat that appeared in my driveway. She was very hesitant at first to come inside and remained outdoors where I fed her until one night when she howled under my bedroom window. Therefore, I welcomed her inside where she remained perched on a chair for about a month before finally finding her way upstairs. I had her for 10 years and spent more time with her than some people spend with their children starting preschool, kindergarten, etc. Let me tell you, she was well behaved and the sweetest cat ever compared to a kitten I raised and his personality.

You may ask for advice at the shelter about the personality of dog or cat that you have your eye on. Those people are eager for you to take an animal home, but also want to be sure it will be the right match for your family.

One last idea when viewing the pets at the shelter is checking the size of their paws if they are puppies or still in the growing stage. Large paws usually are an indication that the dog will be large.

Something else that you often can forget to consider before bringing a new pet home is thinking about what you have planned for the future. If you’re planning to move or expand your family with another baby, can you take your new pet with you or would you need to give him or her away due to lack of time for care and space? This can be cruel if you had this pet for years and suddenly you don’t want the expense, trouble or the ability to take him or her with you. Shelters are full of discarded pets. Unfortunately, senior pets and black cats are the least likely to be adopted so don’t add to the problem. Also, make sure if you do have to drop off your pet at a shelter that it is a no-kill facility. Otherwise, you are just giving him or her a likely death sentence.

You also don’t want to just drop off your cat or dog near a park or farm. Domestic animals don’t do well on their own just because the cat may catch mice or the dog chases rabbits. Your pets can’t survive being on their own. They depend on us.

What else needing your attention is if you can really afford the expense of owning a dog or cat? There is more to it than just the cost of food, there are vet bills, licenses, carriers, bedding, toys, etc. Some of the services such as medical treatment are often less expensive going through a shelter. You also get cheaper prices for rabies vaccines at local clinics in your area. There are even shelters that will give free dog or cat food if you suddenly can’t afford to pay for it anymore to avoid surrendering your pet.

These things that I shared are important to consider before bringing a new pet home. Ultimately, pets benefit our lives so treat them to the happiness they deserve. Otherwise, you just may be doing a disservice to that pet as well as your family.


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