Last updated on February 5th, 2023 at 05:09 pm
When you’re ready for a pet, there’s a lot to consider before you finally bring that new family member home. If you’re wondering how to adopt the right pet for your family, we can help.
Is it time to finally give in to your child’s pleadings and find a pet for the family? While a unicorn or a Siberian tiger might be at the top of your child’s list, there are other pets much more suited for your family. And that perfect pet is probably patiently waiting for you at your local shelter!
How to know if it’s time to add a pet to the family
Before you officially give in to your child’s pleading (or your own excitement!), evaluate if taking on a family pet is a wise decision. Ask these questions of your family first:
- Is everyone in the family on board with getting a pet?
- Do we have the time to invest in a pet?
- Are we willing to commit for the next decade or more?
- Is our living situation conducive to having a pet?
- Can we afford one (including vet visits)?
- Do we have a plan for how to care for our pet when we’re out of town?
If you can’t answer all of these questions with a resounding “yes,” take a step back and give yourself some more time. A loving, family pet may be in your future, but not in your immediate future. On the other hand, if you are able to answer in the affirmative to all of the above questions, you’re ready to take steps toward adopting your family pet!
How to adopt the right pet for your family
At this point you may be halfway out the door, heading toward your nearest Humane Society or shelter. Great! But first, some preparation before you go will help to ensure that you know how to adopt the right pet.
1. Do your research.
Your local shelter likely has a variety of pets. You’ll want to go knowing which animal is best for your family before you come home with one of each. If you’re choosing a dog, be sure to research which breed is ideal for your situation. Every breed has its personality types and quirks. Don’t worry, if you’re on the look-out for a purebred, you’ll likely find plenty ready for adoption, although “mutts” often make the best pets for a variety of reasons! If you really do have your heart set on a specific breed, there are breed-specific rescues in most cities, like greyhound rescues, labrador retriever rescues, etc.
2. Ask Questions.
Just like with people, pet personalities can vary. The Humane Society will have volunteers who have spent quality time with each available pet and will have excellent insight into their personalities. They can help you figure out if a certain pet is a good fit for your family. You can even spend some time with the pet before making any commitments.
3. Consider an adult pet.
With an adult pet you’ll have the advantage of knowing more about its background and behavior. There won’t be any size surprises either! They will also likely be house trained which is a major bonus for a busy family. Kittens or puppies can tend to be a little more destructive and high maintenance. If you’re not sure you’re prepared for the extra effort, opt for an adult.
4. Get prepared.
Now that you know exactly which pet will be joining the family, be sure to have all the supplies you will need. The right food, bedding, kennel, litter box, leash, toys, etc. should already be waiting for your new addition. This is the time to go over what the children’s responsibilities will be in taking care of the new pet too.
5. Fall in love.
Your new pet is here to stay. It may take a little time to adjust, but you’re prepared, and it’ll be worth it for both your family and your new furry friend. Speaking from experience, you’ll soon see why kids benefit from having a pet–from the unconditional love and comfort they provide, the nurturing your child learns, and even the health benefits (like staying active by walking a dog or the fact that people with pets have fewer allergies), to name a few.
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