Congrats — you’re adopting a pet! While it’s easy to fall in love at first sight, taking a longer look can get everyone on the path to a happy life together. Set yourself up for success by considering the following “paw-fect pick” guidelines.
When choosing a pet, your current pack must come first. Questions to ask:
Is this pet good with kids? Consider the age of your children — not every pet is good with young kids.
How territorial is this pet? Some dogs live to protect their family, which can make it difficult or even unsafe for visitors to your home.
Is this pet good with other pets? Ask shelter staff, and bring the animals you already have to the shelter for a meet-and-greet prior to adoption.
Are any family members allergic? You may want to consider pets with hair, not fur.
Your daily routine should weigh heavily on your choice of pet. Ask yourself:
How often are you home? Some shelter pets suffer from separation anxiety, especially in the early days of adoption. If you’re always out of the house, choose a more independent pet.
How active are you? If you’re a homebody, a senior pet may be purr-fect! If you’re on the move, pick a pet who can take your pace in stride.
Do you travel? If so, consider the resources it will take to care for your pet while you’re gone.
Are you a newbie? If this is your first pet, choose an “easy keeper.” Some breeds are trickier to train than others.
Your home will be your new pet’s home, too. Consider the following:
How big is your house? Pick a size-appropriate pet.
Is there a place for play? Dogs need room to romp and cats need places to perch and hide.
Is there a safe place for walks? Vigorous walks keep your dog’s mind and body sharp.
Are there dog parks nearby? Parks offer a chance for socialization and play.
Some pets require more grooming than others. Chew on this:
Are you prepared to de-hair? If frequent brushing (or vacuuming) isn’t your bag, consider a pet with a low-maintenance coat.
Can you invest in grooming? Some breeds need professional pampering every six weeks, adding to the expense of pet care.
Can you commit to polishing pearly whites? Teeth need to be brushed at least once a week.
look to the future
When you open your heart and home to a pet, it should be a lifetime commitment. While you can’t always predict where you’ll be in the future, make sure there is always room in the picture for the pet you adopt.