Adopting a family pet is a huge decision. Pets are a member of the family, and they will be with you for years, so it’s important to take the decision very seriously.
The type of pet you choose should be a joint decision. All members of the family should be excited about the prospect of the new animal, and decisions should be made down to the tiniest detail regarding species, breed, age, and gender. With over six million shelter animals waiting to find their forever home each year in America, organizations are constantly encouraging people to choose adoption over breeders.
Once you decide what pet to get, it’s important to explore all of your options in the area. With today’s technology, the world is a much smaller place, so even shelters that aren’t in your immediate vicinity might display a list of adoptable animals that might catch your eye. This is a big decision that should not be rushed. Purchases should not be timed around a holiday or a family member’s birthday, but when the right pet is found and agreed upon by everyone.
Once your family thinks the right pet is worth checking out, read the profile written by the volunteers. Ask as many questions about the pet’s personality as you can. This is an animal who is going to be with you for a long time, so it’s important to provide a suitable environment to make it as comfortable as possible. Each family member should also spend time in the visiting area getting to know the pet. This should be a joint decision by everyone.
The house should be prepped for your pet’s arrival. If there are other animals to consider, they should be kept in a separate room until each one has had an initial, controlled introduction through a doorway or gate. All of the new pet’s water and food areas should be laid out and ready. Start dictating a routine as soon as possible so your pet understands the rules of when/where to go to the bathroom. If your new pet is small, it’s important to seal any spaces where they can crawl into and get lost.