10 THINGS BEFORE ADOPTING AN ANIMAL
So that’s it! It’s decided! You really want to adopt an animal! Congratulations! It’s a great decision. Your daily life is about to change for the better (well, we hope)! Choosing your pet is a really pleasant moment in life. You must be so impatient! But, are you well prepared and sure you are ready?
Many people think that welcoming an animal is very simple: you buy it or adopt it, you bring it home and everything goes smoothly.
The reality can be quite different. It’s true, some people instinctively meet the animal that is made for them, as if something chemical or magical was happening between two beings without being able to explain it, but it does not happen always like that. That’s why you have to be well prepared.
Some adoptions, though full of good intentions, turn into failures due to unrealistic expectations and a lack of research before choosing the right animal for us. To help you make the right choices, we’ve put together a list of 10 things to consider before adopting.
NUMBER 1: WHAT ARE YOUR MOTIVATIONS?
Have you ever wondered why you want to adopt an animal? Many people acquire an animal emotionally, because it is cute or to surprise a loved one. For others, it is the need to have some company that motivates or the desire to provide a good home for an animal. But are these reasons really good? Even if you have the best of intentions, don’t get yourself an animal without really knowing why you are doing it.
If you want an animal for companionship, that’s okay in itself. But the animal in question may not be as warm as you would like. Even the most docile breeds of dogs or cats may have less sociable individuals in their ranks. Each individual is different, even within the animal world.
NUMBER 2: ARE YOU AVAILABLE?
Honestly analyze your situation. How much time can you devote to an animal per day? In fact, it is one of the most common problems for pet owners. Once this small or large creature comes into your life, you won’t be able to continue doing the same things without considering its needs.
Are you traveling for the long term? Do you like going on vacation in the sun on a whim? Even the smallest of animals depend on you for their needs. Whether you have a Hermit Crab or a large dog, you will need to plan who will take care of it when you are away, whether short or long term.
And then, it’s more complex than that. It’s true that a goldfish doesn’t need your presence as much as a dog. But some animals really do need social interaction and daily exercise. You have to think about it before welcoming them into your life.
NUMBER 3: DO YOU HAVE A REALISTIC VISION OF THINGS?
What are your expectations? Do you think your dog is going to make you a more social person? Can you imagine yourself singing with your parakeet like sailors on a party night? Do you already see your new cat as the future web sensation? Whatever your hopes, be aware that things rarely turn out the way you expected them to. We don’t want to discourage you; you will certainly experience special moments with your new companion, but not necessarily as you had planned them.
See what Janet Winikoff of The Humane Society of Vero Beach and Indian River County thinks: “I advise future adopters not to focus on one particular breed. Some people come in and have a specific animal in mind because they already had one, but dogs are not mass-produced on the same mold just because they are of the same breed.“ Like in many other areas of life, animals don’t always meet our expectations.
Sometimes they disappoint them a bit at the start, other times they outperform them in a fantastic way. This is why you should have realistic expectations and love the animal as it will be, but above all choose it well.
NUMBER 4: WILL YOU BE ENOUGH RESPONSIBLE?
Will you be able to deal emotionally with the loss of your pet? How would you react if, for medical or other reasons, you had to entrust it to someone else? If you are planning on adopting, be aware that sometimes your little one or big one won’t be as cute and cooperative as you would like.
Are you prepared for your puppy’s attacks on your branded purse? What will happen when you have to explain to your child why Mr. Fish is floating on his back in his jar? Adopting is a big responsibility that lasts the life of your pet. Sherri Moore of Menifee Valley Humane Society explains, “The most important thing people need to understand is that having an animal is a lifelong responsibility.
It’s not “Until I get married.” , “Until we have a child,“ or “Until the animal gets sick.“ We find that many people are totally unprepared for this responsibility in terms of time and money. It’s common sense, but a lot of people don’t quite realize what they are getting into.“ We hope this article will make you think seriously about your decision.
NUMBER 5: WILL YOU CHOOSE THE RIGHT ANIMAL FOR YOU?
When the time to choose comes, expect hours of fun! Unless you already have a specific animal or breed in mind. There are so many adorable creatures in shelters that you won’t know where to turn, and if you’re lucky enough to be able to accommodate any type of animal, the choice will be even harder.
The secret is to take the time for yourself, your family and the animal itself. Think carefully. And if you have financial or practical restrictions (lack of space, for example), take them into account and do not rush!
As to which animal is best for your family, Catherine Naber of Cats Canine Academy advises you to analyze your personality and your lifestyle. If you like solitude and don’t have time for walks, forget about the dogs, or at the limit, choose one that is not overly active and likes the quiet!
NUMBER 6: ARE YOU READY TO GET INVOLVED?
Will your animal need to be trained? Will he have specific needs? Horses, in particular, are not acquired on a whim. They must be trained, like many dogs too.
Even cats, to a less complex degree, need to be trained to go to the litter box. Think about it! As for the age of the animal in question, that may also be of some importance. Over time, will there be certain things in the house that will need to be adapted to allow it to evolve safely? Will someone need to be taken care of when you are not there?
NUMBER 7: DO YOU HAVE ENOUGH SPACE?
This consideration goes hand in hand with the previous one. Some animals need a lot of space, even if they are small. Guinea pigs, for example, require a fairly large hutch, as well as a place to store litter, food and toys. In contrast, some dogs, although very large themselves,
do not move much and can easily live in a small apartment as long as they are taken to the park for a run every now and then. Also find out about municipal bylaws to make sure the animal you are interested in is legal in residential areas. For example, dwarf goats are still considered farm animals in some places and therefore prohibited outside agricultural areas.
NUMBER 8: WHAT ARE YOUR FINANCIAL CAPACITIES?
Are you financially prepared? An animal can be expensive, depending on its breed, its needs and especially your budget. If you have a small space, little time, and very little money, you might think of a goldfish, but even the smallest animal will incur expenses (aquarium, food, decorations, etc.).
Eric McCune of the Bella Foundation reminds us: “People often ignore the overall cost of owning a pet. Think about your financial capabilities on a daily basis, but also in the event of the worst possible scenario. Will you have the means to manage an emergency? Nobody wants to think about it, but accidents happen. ”
NUMBER 9: WILL YOU BE THERE FOR HIM ALL HIS LIFE?
Don’t adopt an animal if everyone in the household isn’t 100% happy with the idea. This can cause a lot of unnecessary stress for the dog and the family. We want to make sure that everyone who will be involved in this dog’s life really wants it. Animals put up for adoption deserve a home for life, not a temporary home. Returning a dog after adopting it is difficult for everyone.
NUMBER 10: HAVE YOU DONE ANY RESEARCH?
Have you done thorough research on the animal you are considering adopting? And by research, I don’t mean going to watch adorable videos on YouTube.
I’m talking about serious research. Of course, many animals can make our hearts melt just by looking at them. And if you’ve dreamed of this or that animal since childhood, you might not ask yourself enough questions the day you decide to treat yourself to it.
It’s all well and good to research, but research on what?
Daisy from Daisy’s Animal Rescue League advises checking:
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of this animal?
- What are his needs?
- Are there any grooming or care habits to follow?
- How is his health (some animals have medical problems of their own)?
- What is the temperament of the breed in general? What is that of the dog in particular?
- How does the animal deal with children?
- What is his energy level?
- What are his tastes?
- What are some things that he might hate or that scare him?
- What is his medical history?
- Is he neutered and vaccinated?
- Does he have a microchip?
- Has a heart test been done?
Make sure you always have access to the medical file and get the contact details for the vet. You can also ask for references for a good trainer. Be aware that some breeds are more prone to specific health issues and that there is no guarantee that the animal that won your heart will remain cuddly and perfect like day one. Anything can happen, it’s a living being!
We hope this article will help you make informed decisions. Feel free to express yourself on the subject! Everyone who shares their experience helps current or future pet owners. Leave your comments below.
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