Here are some tips that will help you find the right pet for your family and lifestyle.
Choosing a Shelter Pet Tip #1: Ask About the Pet’s History
Some animals that are up for adoption at animal shelters may be strays that were picked up by animal control or brought in by good Samaritans. However, many pets at animal shelters were released by their former owners. If you are interested in a particular animal, ask an animal shelter employee for the pet’s previous history if applicable.
If an animal was surrendered by their previous owner, it may have been for a number of reasons. Maybe the dog nipped at a child or had medical issues the owner couldn’t afford to get treated. A cat may have attacked another feline resident in the home or started to ignore its litter box when nature called.
Finding out as much information as possible before deciding to adopt a shelter pet ensures you know exactly what you are getting into.
Choosing a Shelter Pet Tip #2: Bring the Whole Family
Having the whole family present when looking for a pet at an animal shelter allows you to see how the pet interacts with each individual. It is particularly important to see if there are any behavioral issues present based on how a prospective pet reacts to young children and adults. You may find the pet is aggressive towards one gender or the other. This often occurs when a pet has been abused and neglected.
Check with the animal shelter before visiting to see if they will allow you to bring in any other furry residents of your household. Some shelters are willing to allow this as long as your current pet is up to date on its vaccinations. Doing this can enable you to see if Fido will get along with that cute little poodle you have your heart set on.
Choosing a Shelter Pet Tip #3: Be Empathetic
Keep in mind that pets at animal shelters are often scared and nervous because they are in an unfamiliar environment and routine. Pets may also be confused if their owner surrendered them. The cowering animal you see in the cage or kennel may react totally differently when they are brought to a quiet private area for a meet and greet.
Choosing a shelter pet is a wonderful way to add a new addition to your family. Keep these three tips in mind and you are bound to find a lifelong friend.