You see a cute, tiger-striped kitten with white paws and green eyes, just begging for attention. Or maybe it’s a gorgeous Labrador mix whose tails seems to be wagging just for you. You take one look, and the next thing you know, you’re walking down the pet food aisle at the supermarket.
If you’re like most of us, falling in love with a pet is easy. And no wonder! Sharing your home with a four-legged friend can be one of life’s greatest joys. Dogs, cats, and other pets give us unconditional loyalty and acceptance, provide constant companionship, and even help relieve stress after a hard day’s work.
Adopting a pet, though, is a big decision. Dogs and cats require lots of time, money, and commitment – more than 15 years’ worth in many cases.
Pets are like babies,they need to be taken well care of,looked after ,they are delicate ,sensitive and prone to health problems.
Bringing a new furry companion into your family is an exciting prospect! But if this is your first pet, or you’re considering getting a different breed or type of pet than you’ve had in the past, we encourage you to do some research first.
A successful adoption depends on finding a good match for your lifestyle and desires in a pet. Are you an active person who would enjoy a dog who needs lots of exercise? Do you have time to train a dog properly, or perhaps would a cat be a better choice? Do you need a pet that’s good with children– at this time or in the future if you plan to have children? Or good with other pets? A puppy or kitten, or an adult pet? Are you willing to make a lifetime commitment to care for a pet? Can you afford to care for a pet?
These are the types of things to consider and research before adopting a pet. The internet, libraries and bookstores have much information on pet care and on specific breeds.
We’ve compiled an outline of some very basic things to consider before you get a pet and tips to keeping them (and you!) happy and healthy.
1. Choose Wisely
• Do your research. Make sure you know what is involved in caring for a particular type of pet and breed. Dogs especially have a wide variety of temperaments, activity levels, health and grooming needs, etc., depending on their breed.
• Choose a pet and breed that matches your lifestyle. Choosing a pet on its looks alone can lead to a poor match and result in the pet being given up.
• Make sure you’re ready for a pet. Do you have the time, money, living situation and level of commitment to give an animal a happy home?
• Remember, cute little puppies and kittens eventually become dogs and cats. Pets can live for 15 years or more.
2. Treat ’em well
• Provide a good diet and take them to the vet regularly
• Get them spayed or neutered. Besides reducing overpopulation, there are also health and behavioral benefits for your pet including removing the risk of certain cancers.
• Make sure they get enough exercise and playtime.
• Be consistent with house training and obedience training. Reward them for good behavior.
• Socialize them with others
• Always keep current ID on your pet, including your phone number
• Spend time with them!
3. Make a lifetime commitment
• Our pets count on us to care for them for their entire lives. Don’t let them down. Having a pet is a lot of fun and extremely rewarding but it’s also a responsibility. It’s no coincidence that shelters are filled with young adult dogs and cats, given up shortly after the cute puppy or kitten grows up.
• Plan ahead. If you are moving, make sure you can take your pet with you. If you’re planning to have kids, socialize your pet with children ahead of time.
• Don’t ignore behavioral problems. Small problems can easily become big problems. Seek professional help from your vet, a trainer, or an animal behaviorist.
Sure, it’s a long list of responsibilities. But taking a quick stroll through an animal shelter will help you understand why considering them before you adopt is so important. Many of the Midlands homeless pets are puppies and kittens, victims of irresponsible people who allowed their pets to breed. But there are at least as many dogs and cats at the shelter who are more than a year old-animals who were obtained by people who didn’t think through the responsibilities of pet ownership before they got the animal. Please, don’t make the same mistake.Think before you adopt. Sharing your life with a companion animal can bring incredible rewards, but only if you’re willing to make the necessary commitments of time, money, responsibility, and love-for the life of the pet.
Adopt ,Don’t Shop 😉