Caring for a companion animal goes far beyond providing food, water and shelter. It takes research and careful planning to bring the right pet into your home, and to make sure your lifestyle is the right one for your pet. Read on for tips to prepare yourself, as well as your home, for a new furry friend.
Are You Ready to Adopt?
When adopting, you are making a commitment to care for an animal for the rest of his life—that could mean 10 to 15 years for dogs and up to 20 years for cats. As you go through lifestyle changes such as moves, the birth of children and new jobs, your animal will remain a permanent part of your life. If circumstances change, will you still be able to care for your pet?
Which Pet Is Right for You?
Your personality and lifestyle, along with challenges such as space restrictions and amount of time spent at home, should be explored to determine what pet is right for your household. Research different breeds and ask shelter staffers for guidance—they’re experts at making perfect matches!
If You’re Considering Adopting a Dog:
Loyal and loving, dogs are social animals who thrive on being upstanding members of their families.
Pit Bull Adoption Tips
Thinking about adopting a pit bull? Congratulations! Pit bulls can make very sweet and loyal family dogs. Adopting a pit bull should be fun and joyful, so we’ve created a list of handy tips to help you make good choices.
Socialization is the key to a happy and confident dog. All puppies should be enrolled in a puppy class where part of the time is devoted to off-leash play with other dogs.
Pit bulls are enthusiastic learners. They enjoy trick training and many graduate at the head of their obedience classes. There are many pit bull rescue groups that can recommend training classes.
It’s play time! Pits are moderately active indoors and extremely active outdoors—be prepared to spend a minimum of 20 to 30 minutes twice a day engaged in aerobic-level activities with your dog.
You may experience breed discrimination. Legislation may prohibit you from living in certain communities, and homeowners insurance may be harder to find. Before you adopt, call your local city hall or animal shelter to find out about your local laws.
Do your research. Bringing home a pit bull may be tough because many people wrongly associate them as being aggressive. Be prepared with breed facts and history to let people know that it’s bad ownership—not bad dogs—that causes pit bulls to be aggressive.
Adoption is the best option. By rescuing a pit bull, you are saving a dog that needs a home and family. Adopting a pit from a shelter means that the dog will have had an initial health evaluation and should also have already been vaccinated and spayed or neutered for you. More and more shelters use a standardized evaluation to assess the behavior of their dogs. If the dog you’re interested in has been evaluated, ask to see the results so you can get a more complete picture of the dog’s typical reactions to things.
Consider adopting an older pit bull. With an adult dog, what you see is what you get. Their personality is already developed, and you’ll be able to spot the characteristics you’re looking for much more easily than with a puppy.
Set a good example for others. Become a proud parent—be sure to show your pit bull the love and care she deserves. And always let others know what great companions they make!
If You’re Considering Adopting a Cat:
Cats are known to be graceful, athletic, playful, sensitive and affectionate.
Preparing Your Home for a New Cat or Dog
Whether it’s tightly sealing your garbage cans or paying attention to dangerous decorations during the holidays, you’ll need to make your home safe before adopting. That includes keeping toxic foods, pet-unfriendly plants and dangerous household items out of paw’s reach. Here are some suggestions for preparing your home to welcome a new canine or feline companion.
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