Adopting a Pet: Introduction


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So, you've made the decision to adopt a rescue pet. Prepare yourself for one of the most rewarding, life changing experiences you'll ever have. Adopting a new pet, when done properly, introduces a new life dynamic that's as fulfilling as it is challenging.

Think of it as an emotional investment with a 10 times rate of return.

Pet adoption is not a trivial thing. It's all about finding the right pet for which there are many factors that come into play.

Just to mention a few.

So, how do you get the most out of this experience? How do you choose the right pet? Where do you find the right pet? How do you get your new relationship off to the right start? Knowing these answers will make a big difference. It will ensure that you and your new pet live a long, happy life together.

Prepare yourself for one of the most rewarding, life changing experiences you'll ever have.

Why adopt a pet?

There are plenty of great reasons to adopt a pet, beyond that of companionship and saving a life. When you adopt, you support a rescue organization in their continued efforts to save and care for animals. You open shelter space for another rescue animal and your financial donation helps to fund the work of the shelter. Adopting also provides you with choice. Sheltered animals vary in age and breed. You can select an animal that best fits your personality and lifestyle.

However, there are reasons to not adopt a new pet. As much as we want to encourage you to adopt, if it's for the wrong reason, the decision could do more harm than good.

  1. For the kids - Adopting a pet is a great way to teach kids responsibility. But if your sole reason for adopting a pet is to satisfy the kids, it may backfire. What if your kids lost interest? They might resist the idea of having to take care of a pet when it seems like too much work. There are also things your kids will not be able to do, like take your pet to the veterinarian. Owning a dog or cat will involve everyone in the household. As a parent if you're not prepared for that level of involvement, adopting a pet would be a mistake.
  2. Roommates - If your living situation involves sharing space with one or more roommates, you should always consider how this might effect your pet's well being. Again, owning a dog or cat will involve everyone in the household. Unless you plan to stay home 24/7 with your pet, others in the house will need to understand and appreciate an animal sharing their living space. When a pet makes a mistake or gets sick, roommates may take on some responsibility if and when you're not home.
  3. Protection - Dogs in particular can provide a certain level of home and personal protection. They can act as a deterent and early warning for potentially dangerous situations. The down side is that your pet could be placed in harms way. Dogs are naturally protective of their owners, but that should not be the primary reason to adopt.

The bottom line is that a pet/owner relationship is a symbiotic one. Everyone in the household should be prepared to provide for the pet in some way. Now that you know you're adopting for the right reasons, let's move on to choosing that perfect companion.

Do your homework

If you've never owned a pet, the most important part of the adoption process is research. This series of articles will hopefully give you the foundation to make an educated decision. Topics in this series will cover choosing the right pet, questions to ask during the adoption process, how to prepare for a new pet, and what to expect when you bring your new pet home. This is important information for all new pet owners, regardless of any prior experience with pet adoption.

With a little homework, you can find the right pet and ease the transition for everyone. This is an exciting time! Let's get you on your way with our next article, Choosing a Pet

Peace, Love, and Paws.

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