Pet Adoption Tips

Caring for an animal goes far beyond providing food, water and shelter. It's smart to do your research and careful planning before bringing a dog or cat home. Before you decide to adopt, ask yourself these questions:

1. Are you ready to make a long-term commitment?
Your pet may be with you for a very long time. Did you know that dogs can live from 10-15 years, and cats for up to 20 years? You may go through many changes in your life -- moves, marriages, the birth of children, new jobs and new houses -- but your animal will be a permanent part of your life. And since dogs and cats can bond deeply with their families, it can be heartbreaking for the pet-and for the family-should that bond be broken if you cannot care for your animal.

2. Can you spend quality time with this animal?
Canines thrive on several hours of exercise and companionship every day, and dogs who are constantly left alone can develop behavioral problems. Cats are healthiest and happiest indoors, with their human families. Felines who live outside face dangers from other animals and people, and may prey on wildlife.

3. Will you be responsible for your pet's health and safety?
The cost of owning a dog or cat is more than the initial adoption fee. When estimating the total amount, remember to include basic and emergency veterinary care, toys, supplies and food. Check out the ASPCA’s Pet Ownership web page  to determine what you can expect to pay annually for your new pet. You'll also need to spay or neuter your pet, and make sure that he or she has proper identification, collar and tags or a more permanent form of ID such as microchipping.

4. Do you know what kind of pet is right for you?
Dogs and cats are not right for every household. Problems such as allergies, apartment restrictions, or moving issues should be explored before adopting a new pet. Large dogs may be too strong or active for small children, while small pets may be too delicate for children. It's smart to ask the shelter staff what animals they recommend for your household -- they're experts at making perfect matches!

For more tips, visit:
The American Society For the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Humane Society of the United States 
American Humane Association  

Source: The American Society For the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals