So you’ve gained a four-legged family member. Now what? In this series, we will lay out what to expect when you’re expecting a new feline or canine friend to join the family. We continue this series with a topic close to our hearts: adoption, before & after.
Are you ready to adopt?
Adopting an animal means committing to caring for an animal for its entire life. This could fall between 10 to 15 years for dogs and even up to 20 years for cats. When your lifestyles change, your animal will remain as part of your life. It also means fees that continue beyond a simple adoption fee. There’s food, veterinary care, spaying or neutering, and proper identification.
Having time for your pet is another factor. Dogs benefit from several hours of attention and exercise daily. Cats also love a good chase of a laser or catnip.
Which pet is right for you?
Consider the space a new pet will have to roam. Do you live in a cramped apartment and travel a lot? Consider a small dog or cat. Live with a family of 5 with a fenced in yard? Consider a larger breed of dog. Don’t hesitate to ask shelter staff for guidance to make for the perfect match.
Preparing your home.
From toxic foods left in bowls to pet-unfriendly plants and easy-to-get-into-trash bins, be sure to observe your home and make changes to assure your home is safe for a new canine or feline companion before their arrival.
Things to consider:
- A dog or cat bed. Pets are inclined to keep off furniture if they have a designated bed.
- Avoid vertical blinds, pooling drapery, ornate tassels, and long cords that are strangulation hazards.
- If you adopt a cat, install high-quality metal screens so you can open a window without risking an escape.
- If your new dog is not yet house-trained, consider temporarily storing away expensive rugs.
- Provide your new feline friend with scratching posts and perches.
- Use dog crates and gates to confine your new dog when absent from home until they are well-behaved.
- Provide dogs with plenty of things they are allowed to chew on toys or bones, so he is less likely to find your shoe as an alternative.
- Check that plants kept indoors or around your home are not poisonous to pets.
Local shelters include:
Last Chance, Cat Depot, Honor Animal Rescue, among many others listed in the latest issue of Pet Pages located in our lobby.
In this series
Don't forget to check out our previous piece on vet visits.