So you’ve made the (wonderful) decision to rescue your next pet. Now comes the next question – how do you know if you are actually ready to adopt?
Rescuing my baby/dog was the best decision I ever made but I also had to ask myself difficult questions and be honest with myself in terms of timing. While I would spend my nights scrolling through “available pets” on every rescue page in the state, I knew I didn’t have the proper time to devote to a pet. Once I was ready, however, I made sure I was prepared for the lifetime responsibility of owning an animal.
What are you getting into?
First off, you need to be fully aware of what you are agreeing to when rescuing a pet. Whether it is a senior dog or a young kitten, your life will change (for the better, of course). When rescuing a pet, it’s important to know that you’re rescuing a pet for a lifetime – their lifetime. Thinking of moving in to that cozy house with the picket fence a few states away? Plan on your pet coming with you. Wanting to start a family in the next few years? Your newly adopted puppy will be your child’s first best friend. Don’t leave your pet behind just because you’re making changes in your life. When signing those adoption papers, know that you’re signing to keep them forever, through the good and the bad.
What to ask yourself
Still questioning on whether you’re ready to adopt? There are many questions to ask yourself, such as:
- Do I have enough time?
This doesn’t just mean time to let the dog in and out, or time to change the kitty litter. Do you have time to bring the dog to the park or take walks together? Do you have enough quality time to spend with your pet?
- Do I have enough money?
Adopting versus shopping can save you money in the long run. Adoption fees usually cover the spay or neuter, general wellness exam, microchip and vaccinations. However, sometimes life happens and unexpected expenses come up. Do you have enough of a cushion to be prepared if something does happen?
- What are your reasons for wanting a pet?
Sometimes it’s necessary to check in and understand why you truly want a pet. Are you looking for companionship? Someone to come home to every night? Is your significant other pushing you to get one? This can not only narrow down if you’re ready for a pet, but what animal or breed you may be most interested in.
It’s time to go get your new furry friend! You can never be completely prepared for bringing an animal into your home. However, it’s important to be as prepared as you possibly can be. Have everything figured out ahead of time, such as:
- What vet will you go to?
- Will you bring them to training classes?
- Will you crate train?
- Do you have a fenced in yard or a run for the dogs? How often will you take them for walks or have ‘play time’?
- How will you socialize them – puppy classes, friends, etc.? Make sure you take the necessary steps to properly introduce the pets.
Most importantly, prepare your home! Ever heard of baby-proofing? Puppy and kitty-proofing exist too! Check out this list of Common Household Dangers for Pets, courtesy of the Humane Society, to help you get prepared for your new pet.
Preparing to bring your pet home may seem like an arduous task, but it is worth it in the end. After everything is said and done, your new best friend will reward you with unconditional love and endless kisses to make up for it all.