Shelter pets make the best pets when they are perfectly matched to their families. Pets have their own personalities, likes and dislikes, just like human beings. Finding a perfect match for you is the key to a successful relationship between your pet and family. We’ve compiled a few tips on how to adopt the perfect shelter pets, just for you. Check them out below:
1. Research, Research, Research
Did we mention research? We cannot stress how important it is to research everything before considering going to the shelter. Besides researching information about shelter pets, how to make your home pet friendly and more, we recommend researching different breeds and their temperament. For example, you’re looking to adopt a dog and you have a family with small children. Bulldogs are considered to be one of the best dog breeds for families: they’re small-medium sized, energetic and very friendly. Check out our article about the top dog breeds for kids. Find out what dog personality you have with this quiz!
2. Be Prepared
Adopting any animal is a huge responsibility. There is A LOT your pet will need beyond the basic care items. Be sure you are prepared to afford and care for your pet. Be sure you have the following:
Time. Plan to spend time with your pet. Whether you take your dog for walks, dog park outings, or vet visits.
Space. Your pet will need plenty of room, some breeds more than others. Large active dogs are not a good match for apartments, they need fenced in back yard to run and play.
3. What You Need Before You Bring Your Pet Home
Aside from what you need in order to be prepared for your pet. You of course need the basic care items as well. This list will help be sure that you have all the essential items for your new friend.
Food. Make sure to check with the adoption place and buy the right food for your pet. Research brands and find a dry food that fills your pet’s needs! Also, pick out a bowl for food and water.
Leash and Collar. Bring your leash and collar with you when going to pick up your new pet!
ID Tag. A tag with your contact information is key! There are countless pets that never find their way home because they were not wearing an identification tag.
Bedding. This can easily be old blankets made up into a bed or a brand new pet bed.
Any other pet specific items. For example, getting a cat? Get some cat litter and the litter box. Want to avoid pets destroying your house? Get them toys, bones, scratchers and other chewables especially if you plan on adopting a puppy.
4. The First Day Home
Congrats! You have now adopted the best friend that you’re ever going to have. But what now? The first day is always tough. Your new pet needs time to get used to you, your family and its new environment. The animal might act defensive, shy, excited, or scared. This is all expected and rewarding and loving your pet is the best way to handle these reactions. It is very unlikely that your new pet will settle in right away, so be patient!
Contact the shelter prior to picking up your pet. Ask them what food the pet is currently being fed. Changing their diet too quickly can result in an upset stomach and cause them to get sick. If you want to change their diet, slowly wean them off their current food brand and introduce the new food in small bits.
Just remember to always be patient. A new pet is basically the same as welcoming a new child into your family. You need to set up rules and be consistent, schedule obedience training, and love them. Nothing will help your shelter animal adjust to your family and new home better than love.
Remember that you rescued your pet and gave him a home that he may have not had before. When making decisions in regards to your new furry companion, don’t be rash. With time, training, and bonding - you will soon have a fantastic companion to accompany you on all your adventures.