Adopting a new pet is a wonderful and exciting time and an important life decision that holds the potential for years of love and joy (with a little hard work thrown in there too, of course). Because we know that responsible pet adoption is important to our readers, we’ve made sure to outline the various ways that you can ensure you are making the best choices for yourself and for your new four-legged family member.
Whether you already have your ideal pet in mind, or want to take a look at the available options, it pays to do your research ahead of time. You will need to consider what type/breed of pet you are interested in, and the long-term costs and care involved. For example, purebreds and some larger breeds tend to cost more in veterinary care over their lives due to the propensity for genetic illness and injury as compared to mixed breed and smaller pets.
The Adoption Option
Adopting a pet from a shelter or rescue organization is a wonderful way to find a great pet, save a life, and open up space for another homeless pet to receive care. Breed-specific rescue organizations exist for almost every breed of dog or cat, and the workers are committed to matching you up to the pet that’s right for your family and lifestyle.
Pets that live in foster homes prior to being adopted have already had a chance to allow their personalities to emerge. The foster parents will know the pet’s quirks, habits, likes, and dislikes, and are able to help connect you with the perfect pet.
Finding A Responsible Breeder
If you choose to go with a breeder for your new pet, be sure to visit the home or facility where your future pet and his or her parents are cared for. A responsible breeder should provide a clean, healthy, and loving environment for the dogs or cats they raise, and should be happy to show you around. Never rely on AKC papers alone, as these won’t tell you anything about the conditions from which your new pet comes.
What To Watch Out For
Sadly, the many pet stores and Internet sites are still selling pets that come from puppy and kitten mills. These large-scale breeding operations raise pets in confined, unhygienic environments and usually force breeding adults to have back-to-back litters with no heed to the health implications. Unless you can be certain that a pet store is selling animals they rescued from a shelter, it’s best to avoid them.
Responsible Pet Adoption
Making sure you are ready for the demands of a pet is a big part of responsible pet adoption! Consider your lifestyle, time constraints, and energy level before committing to a pet, and talk with the other members of your household about their responsibilities when it comes to the newest addition.