If you have decided to add a pet to your family, you may be considering pet adoption. Thousands of pets are abandoned or surrendered every year, filling shelters with adoptable pets of all kinds. Adopting a pet is a wonderful way to bring joy to your life while helping an animal.
 

Considering a few things before your search


1) First, you need to decide what kind of pet is right for you and your family or lifestyle. Be sure to get opinions of other household members. If one person is not happy with the choice of pet, it can create a tense situation.

2) Be sure to think about your family's living situation and habits. A house where everyone is gone all day is probably not a good place for a dog. You might consider getting two cats, so they can entertain one another. A small apartment is probably not a good pace for a large animal.

3) Once you have gotten everyone's opinion and determined your lifestyle, it is time to choose the pet that works best for everyone.


Small animals like rodents often make good pets for young children.

Rodents
  • The particularly docile guinea pig loves to be held and can provide endless entertainment for children.
  • Hamsters are cute but nocturnal, so they may not be up to playing with kids during the day.
  • Birds can be messy, so there must be someone willing to clean up after them.
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    The most popular pets, cats and dogs, each have their pros and cons.

    Cat and Dog
  • Dogs need at least some outdoors exercise.
  • Cats can be aloof and may require an indoor litter box.


  • Considering a Cat or Dog

     

    If you have decided a cat or dog is best for you, get an idea of which breed you like. This is not just a question of which looks cutest. The size of your pet is a big consideration. The daily food requirement is much bigger for a Great Dane than a Chihuahua. Grooming is another thing to consider. In general, dogs and cats with longer hair require more grooming, although certain short-haired breeds have specific grooming needs.

    Never buy a pet as a present without the recipient's permission. Pets are cute and cuddly, but that doesn't mean that everyone wants one. Puppies and kittens, especially, take a lot of work that your friend or loved one may not be willing to provide. If you rent, make sure you have your landlord's permission to own the kind of pet you are considering. These simple steps will help prevent the heartache of having to return an adopted pet to the shelter.

    Finding that Perfect Pet

     

    Once you have decided what type of pet and determined breeds, if necessary, it is time to find the right one. A great resource is the Petfinder website. This website lets you search thousands of adoptable pets in your area, from dogs to horses to pigs. Simply select your desired species, breed, age, gender and zip code to get a list of pets local to you.

    The actual process of adopting a pet varies by shelter, but this information can be found through the links on Petfinder. It is a good idea to take the entire family, including other pets to meet a potential new pet. This way you can make sure everyone gets along and no one has allergies. Once all of these steps have been completed, the only thing left is officially adopting your pet and taking it home to become a permanent member of your family.
     
    How to Adopt a Pet