The most rewarding way to make a difference
Whether it’s your first time adopting, or you’re a seasoned pet parent, there’s nothing like taking home your new best friend. Here are some resources to help make the transition a little easier.
Some questions you should be ready to answer
Is this your first time adopting or owning a pet?
Inexperienced pet owners often are not sure what questions to ask or what to expect. You may also be asked if you’ve had to return an adopted pet in the past.
What is your housing situation (e.g., single-family home, townhouse, condo, apartment)?
Some pets need more space to move around than others. You may also be asked if you have a fenced-in backyard or easy access to a dog park.
Do you currently: own, rent, or live with a relative/friend?
Landlords and roommates may have strong opinions about pets living on their property. Sometimes they will be contacted to verify that it is acceptable to have a dog, so make sure to have their contact information ready and available.
How old are the people living with your new dog?
Young children may not yet know how to be gentle with a new pet, especially during the excitement of the first few days. Conversely, older senior citizens may not be able to handle the energy of a younger dog or cat. It’s helpful to bring these people with you on adoption day if possible to get a sense of how they interact with the new dog.
Will this pet live with other pets (e.g., dog, cat, bird, etc.)?
It’s important to know the temperament of your current pets so you can be sure your new addition is a good match. Other pets may become aggressive or threatened with a new pet around the house.
How flexible is your budget?
Pets tend to have their own expenses, including food, supplies, and toys. In case your new pet has special needs or health issues, are you financially prepared to handle them?
How much time do you think you’ll be able to spend with your pet each day?
If you’re out of the home a lot, you’ll probably want to plan for a way to keep your pet from becoming lonely. You might be asked about your work schedule to help the shelter worker understand how long the pet may spend each day at home alone.
Are there any pet behaviors you will not tolerate?
Bad habits take time to handle, so if chewing, barking, scratching furniture, accidents indoors, etc. is unacceptable in your home, the best time to mention it is during adoption.
Would you adopt a pet with pre-diagnosed health conditions?
This does not necessarily mean that this pet will not be great to adopt — it just means they may require special attention or care.
How to prepare
Bring the right
Don’t set your sights on a specific dog or cat you find online, but be ready for commitment. You’ll have to be patient with your dog as they learn their new role in the family.
Bring the right
All adoptions require a photo ID, an application, and a fee to be collected before an animal can go home. The fee can range anywhere from $25 to $200, so call to confirm the price.
Leave with the right
Don’t forget to ask for a spay or neuter certificate as well as a detailed list of vaccinations and any other medical history, if available.
Have a veterinarian
If you don’t have a trusted veterinarian already, there’s no better time to find one near you so you can schedule an appointment early.
Give your new pet a
Quality nutrition is key to a happy, healthy life. Try to continue feeding the food your pet ate at the shelter, or change pet foods gradually to avoid an upset stomach.
Prepare your home and family for the new addition
Discuss these questions ahead of time so everyone can give the new pet a warm welcome:
- Which family members will feed, walk and bathe the pet?
- Do the kids know how to treat a new pet gently?
- Will a new pet be an issue with a landlord or roommate?
- How might other pets in the house be affected?
- Are there any areas of the home where the pet shouldn’t be allowed?
- Is anyone in the home allergic to fur or saliva?