Welcoming a new four-legged friend into your family can be a wonderful experience, but it’s important to make sure that you have the right resources and information available to make the transition as smooth as possible for everyone involved.

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to simplify the pet adoption process, simply by making sure that you have the right information and guidance available. Here, we’re going to take a look at everything you’ll need to know, before, during, and after making a pet adoption.

What To Know Before Adopting A Pet:

The first thing you’ll need to do before making a pet adoption is make sure that everyone in your family is comfortable with welcoming someone new into the household. Pet ownership is a huge commitment, and something that can impact every part of your life – from deciding who should be taking the dog out in the middle of the night for a walk, to determining who needs to pay for the vet bills.

Because your new pet is going to be a part of your life for the long-term, it’s important to ensure that everyone agrees about the kind of pet you’re going to get. Your new companion should be the kind of animal that everyone feels comfortable living with, so make sure that you avoid anything that might cause allergic reactions.

Doing Your Research On Pet Adoption:

If you want to make sure that you’re equipped with the right information before you start buying collars, and filling out paperwork, it’s a good idea to go online and do some research about the kind of animals that are best suited to your family. Looking up data about breeds and characteristics will help you to figure out which animal is most likely to be suitable with your lifestyle before you go to the shelter.

Often, when people approach a pet adoption center without any research, they end up picking the first four-legged friend they see that they find to be cute. While this is a fun way to look for a new companion, it also means that you could end up choosing the wrong animal for you and your family. For instance, a Jack Russell terrier is cute, but it also requires a lot of care and attention because these dogs have a significant amount of energy.

If you don’t have a lot of time to take your animal out for walks, or play with it, then you might need to consider getting something that is a little more low-maintenance, like a pug.

During your research, you’ll also be able to find out what kind of paperwork you’ll need to fill out before your pet adoption can be completed. Sometimes the documents required can range all the way from vet references to proof of residency. If you haven’t owned a pet before, then you obviously won’t be able to get a vet reference. However, you should be able to provide information about your home to help the shelter determine whether you have enough space for the kind of pet you’re adopting.

Preparing For the Pet’s Arrival:

Often, when it comes to pet adoption, preparing for the arrival of your new pet can feel very similar to preparing for the arrival of a baby. You’ll need to make sure that your home is safe for the presence of a dog, cat, rabbit, bird, or any other type of animal you’ve chosen to live with.
Remember that animals are just as capable of getting themselves into trouble as young children or babies, so it’s a good idea to check for anything that might cause injury to your new friend in advance. Not only could this protect you from heartache, but it will also mean that you can potentially reduce your risk of getting expensive vet bills.

Remember, it’s a good idea to check out the credentials of the shelter you’re thinking of adopting from before you commit to a pet adoption. Most shelters will come with websites that you’ll need to check to get a better idea of who you’re going to be working with. You might even be able to browse through some of the animals available for adoption online too!

When You’re Visiting the Shelter:

When the time finally comes to visit the shelter, one of the most important things you can do is make sure that you bring everyone with you who might have to live with the animal. This will ensure that your new companion has the right chemistry with the other members of your family. Remember, you’ll also need to bring your other dog or animal if you have one to see whether they will get along.

Most places will require you to bring your existing dog if you’re thinking of getting a new one, as this will help you to determine whether both animals can cope with each other.

Instead of simply choosing the first animal you think is cute, it’s also worth making sure that you ask plenty of questions before you commit to a pet adoption. For example, you might question the history of that animal in terms of health, and whether it has been neutered, or might have any behavioral problems that you need to be aware of before you take it home.

Enjoy Your New Pet!

Remember, your new pet is likely to be a little nervous and shy when you first bring it home, and you shouldn’t rush it to interact with your family, and other animals. Dogs and cats generally want to run and hide when they enter a new environment, and it’s typically a good idea to leave them alone so that they have time to get used to their new surroundings on their own terms.

Keep in mind that it’s a good idea to be prepared for toilet accidents too. After all, even if your new pet was housebroken before it left the shelter, the anxiety that comes with visiting a new place can mean that it may end up falling back into old habits. Just be patient with it and show plenty of love!