Please consider these factors before deciding to adopt a pet:
If you lease your home, check with your landlord before adopting to be sure you are allowed to have this pet and can afford all required pet deposits. Pets are sometimes returned because of lease restrictions and/or landlord’s disapproval of the pet chosen. This can be an expensive lesson for you since the adoption fees are non-refundable and being returned to the shelter can be a stressful experience for the animal.
Other members of your household should be aware you want to add a pet and should meet the pet before you decide to adopt. Also consider:
Consider the initial and on-going costs of a new pet. These costs include:
The Animal Humane Society recommends you do not immediately expose your existing pets to a new pet. Consider how you will manage an isolation period and be sure all existing pets are up to date on vaccinations and other routine health care before bringing a new pet home.
Facilitating positive pet-to-pet introductions will require some management on your part too. Not all pets are instant friends and may require temporary or intermittent separation to ensure a smooth transition. Some pets are happy to share their home within a week or two, others may take a month or longer to adjust.
All dogs and cats making the transition to a new home will need time to adjust to a new family and may require housetraining and behavior training to correct problem behavior. If you aren’t prepared to invest your time to teach your new pet appropriate behavior and help the animal adjust, you should not consider adopting a pet at this time. Positive reinforcement-based training is recommended for all newly adopted dogs and puppies.
Please make a lifetime commitment to your pet. Remember that the animal you choose has already been abandoned or unwanted at least once in its life. Dogs and cats may live 12 to 15 years or more. Your thoughtful consideration, preparation and commitment will help insure a lifelong placement.