Animal abandonment is still a major problem in many parts of the world. At this point, the organizations that take these animals off the street are overflowing as a result.
If you’ve decided to adopt a pet, there are many places where you can do so. The internet is usually a good tool for learning about the shelters and animal protection organizations in your area.
Shelters: More Supply than Demand
Regardless of whether they have the resources to do it or not, the organizations that provide shelter to stray dogs and cats do their best to find good homes for them.
If you go to a local shelter to adopt a pet, staff will help you make the best decision. If you want to bring an animal into your life, you must choose responsibly.
First and foremost, understand that when you adopt a pet you’re taking responsibility for a living being that you’ll have to take care of for years to come. Remember that they are animals that have already gone through abandonment and that under no circumstance should they ever have to endure it again.
That’s why it is important that you don’t let yourself be carried away by impulse or love at first sight. It may be hard not to when there’s a cute, fluffy animal there in front of you, but there are things to think about. You need to make a good choice, both for you and for the animal.
If you made the decision to adopt a pet and now are wondering where to do so, you’ll soon realize that there are all kinds of places housing animals in need of loving homes. Shelters and animal protection organizations are often too small to take in all the animals they find because of the huge number that have been abandoned.
Considerations Before You Decide to Adopt a Pet
Although you may have a preconceived idea about what kind of pet you want to adopt, consider the following factors before making any final decisions:
- How much time you have to dedicate to your new pet
- Whether they will have to be home alone
- Your age, physical condition and financial situation
- Whether there are other pets already living in your home
- Your family dynamic
- The size of your house (as well as outdoor spaces like a patio or yard)
As you can imagine, a large dog is not the same as a medium-sized or small dog, or an adorable kitten. A dog that needs to burn off a lot of energy is definitely not the same as a more “chill” dog. And having one cat isn’t the same as having two or three. However, as far as cats are concerned, it’s always good to have more than one so they can keep each other company.
Responsibilities of a Pet Owner
The decision to adopt a pet is a big one and implies changes in your life. Because no matter how much you love your new pet or they love you, love is not enough. Pets need to be taken care of. There are responsibilities you take on, involving both time and money, when you bring a pet home.
- Regular check-ups with a veterinarian
- Vaccines and periodic deworming
- Basic obedience training
- Quality food for your pet’s specific needs
- Walks, exercise and playing
- Toys and accessories
- Hygiene and grooming
Adopting an Animal Off the Street
While there is certainly an abundance of places where you can adopt a new pet, another possibility is that you might come across an abandoned animal on the street and decide to keep it. Here, we recommend immediately taking the animal to a veterinarian for a thorough check-up and any urgent tests or procedures.
It’s also important to verify that the animal doesn’t have owners looking for it. If the animal has a microchip, it will be easier to find out. If not, though, it never hurts to look for lost pet posters in the neighborhood. The internet is also a way that pet owners search for lost pets.
Once you’ve checked if they have an owner, ask a veterinarian to place a microchip under their skin if they don’t already have one. Microchips are used to identify animals if they are stolen or happen to escape.
While you’re at the vet’s office, be sure to ask about anything and everything you believe necessary in order for you to successfully handle the significant challenges of caring for your new animal friend.
As you can see, adopting a pet is definitely a challenge. However, we’re 100% sure you will not regret your decision. Good luck!