Adding a furry family member to your life is a fun and exciting time! Pets make wonderful companions and members of the family. With so many different kinds of companion animals, it can sometimes be difficult to know which pet is the right fit for you. Here are some things to consider when choosing your new best friend.
What’s your lifestyle like? Are you extremely active, or do you prefer curling up on the couch with your favorite book or movie? Choosing a pet with the right energy level and behaviors can make all the difference in your happiness with your new friend. If you prefer relaxing and cuddling, an energetic puppy might not be the best match, but an older, mellower dog or a lap cat could be just right! If you’re looking for a running or hiking buddy, you want an energetic dog who is at least 1 year old so they’re ready to hit the trails. Think about what your ideal day would look like with your pet and your family, and start your matchmaking there.
What type of pet is best suited for where you live? Picture where your new pet will spend time in your home and think about how you will meet their needs. For example, if you adopt a young dog that needs a lot of exercise but you don’t have a yard to play in, you’ll need to plan for daily walks and/or runs to keep everyone happy. A very vocal pet may not be the best choice for people who live in close quarters. If you rent, you’ll want to make sure your landlord is ok with your pet and that you’re aware of any restrictions they have on the size, type, or number of pets you can have, and any fees that may apply.
Is now the right time for a new pet? Are you moving soon, going on vacation, or preparing for another major life change? Do you have a busy life and young children who would need to be constantly supervised with a new animal? Maybe now is not the right time. Pets need routine when they first go home after being in the shelter; it helps them to adapt. Give yourself and your pet the time you need to bond and relax, by making sure the timing is right to bring them home.
How much time do you have to spend with your animal companion? Young dogs, cats, and small animals (especially puppies and kittens) need a lot of socialization and playtime to be happy. If you work full time and are not able to come home regularly throughout the day to exercise and play with your pet, consider an older animal who would like sleeping for many hours while you are gone, or a pair of adult cats who would enjoy keeping each other company while you’re away, without getting into mischief.
Are you financially prepared to care for a pet for their lifetime, and do you have a plan for emergencies? In addition to food, vaccines, toys and other basic necessities that your pet will need monthly, you will need to be prepared for a potential emergency. Pets can eat things that are dangerous to them, get out and get hit by cars, or unexpectedly fall ill. You should be financially prepared to care for your pet in the event of such an unfortunate situation.
What species and breeds will be best for you and your family? Once you’ve thought about your lifestyle and decided that you are prepared to care for a pet, it’s time to think about what species is best for you. Consider lifespan, exercise and training needs, socialization, and more. Our staff is happy to provide specific needs for each of our animals to ensure they have the right energy level and behavior for your family. If you are looking at a specific animal and breed, do research ahead of time! There are plenty of great articles and books out there about specific breeds and breed mixes.
Once you’ve answered these questions and decided you and your family are ready, it’s time to choose a pet! You can see all of our available dogs, cats, and small animals here, or come in to visit the shelter. Our staff are ready and happy to help you find the right fit for your family!