6 Tips and Tricks to Know Before Adopting a Pet

6 Tips for Adopting a Perfect Cat or Dog for Your Home

We’ve compiled some tips to help you think about before finding your forever pet, including:

1. Adopting a pet: Before you adopt, consider the following.

Don’t rush into it. If you don’t give it careful thought, you could end up regretting your decision. One Canadian animal shelter saw a 25% increase in the number of people who gave up their pets after the COVID-19 Pandemic ended (many people wanted the emotional support that a pet could provide during the pandemic). People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) reports that animal shelters in America see a increase after the holidays.

Adopting a pet: Be prepared for a long-term commitment

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You should research what types of dog or cat breeds are available and which aspects of their personality and appearance appeal to you. It’s also important to see how they behave in the real world. You can visit friends and family with similar pets, or a breeder or shelter to gain some experience.

Spend time with your new pet before bringing them home

Each animal is unique, with its own preferences, quirks and behaviors. Spend time with the potential adoptee if possible before making them part of your family. Animal fostering allows you to get a feel for what it’s like to own a pet and, more specifically, how that animal behaves in your home.

2. Adopting a pet: You need to prepare your house

Bring home your new pet and you’ll find many safety hazards and obstacles around your house. This is especially true if it is your first pet. Before your big day, consider the following areas of your home and pet supplies:

  • Bring your pet home with these items:A pet carrier, leash and collar; don’t forgot to include your contact details and a warm blanket! A warm water bottle can be comforting for a kitten or a puppy.
  • Basic Pet Supplies: You’ll need a supply on hand of food (ask your shelter which food they are currently eating as changing food immediately can be stressful for them), dishes for food and water, treats and toys, if applicable. Some supplies are species-specific, such as litter boxes for cats or dog poop bags.
  • Pet proof your home. The American Humane Society suggests basic petproofing strategies. These include using covered trashcans, blocking small spaces that a pet could get trapped in, such as behind laundry appliances, and storing human food and medication high and out of reach.

3. It Can Be Expensive To Own A Pet

U.S. News & World Report money columnists say that adopting a pet is usually more affordable than purchasing one from a breeder. Adoption fees vary from shelter to shelter. For example, the Animal Humane Society charges between $129 and $767 for dogs, and $39 to 317 for cats.

The cost of adopting an animal doesn’t stop when you pay your initial adoption fee. Before you adopt a new pet, be sure to budget all the costs. According to Kansas State University, an average American spends approximately $500 per year on a pet.

Vet costs

You can expect to pay between $150 and $200 per dog for a wellness check, while the cost for cats is around $150. This can vary depending on the needs of your pet:

  • The cost of neutering or spaying can range from $100 to $200
  • Vaccinations
  • Specific medications such as allergy medication or heartworm medication
  • Dental cleaning
  • Vitamins

Pet owners should have around $1,500 in savings for unplanned emergencies. Pet health insurance is a great option, but it comes at a price.

Cost of Food and Supplies

According to Tufts University’s Clinical Nutrition Service, pet owners can spend anywhere between $201 and $7,000 per year on food for their pets depending on the food type they choose. The cost of pet food depends on the type you choose. For example, raw, freeze-dried food is more expensive than kibble.

The following items will also need to be replaced regularly:

  • Pet bedding
  • Pets
  • Pet treats

License Fees, Grooming and Other Potential Costs

You’ll need to purchase a pet licence annually if your city or municipality requires one. You may also be responsible for:

  • Dog training (around $100 for dogs)
  • Wear and tear of your furniture and home, such as the cost to replace a rug or buy stain removers for upholstery.
  • When you go on vacation, pet sitters and kennel charges are a necessity.
  • Pet fees are charged to those who rent a house or take their pet on vacation.
  • Grooming is expensive, whether you go to a professional or buy supplies at home to trim your pet’s nails and wash them.
  • Considerations for the cost of end-of-life if you are adopting an older animal. This includes cremation and burial.

4. Introduce Your New Pet to Your Pets

Adopted pets can feel anxious about moving into a new environment. Dr. Karen Snowden, an associate professor of the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, says that it is important to create a routine for your pet once you have brought them home. This will help your animal get used to your routine and you. Introduce your new pet with any existing furry family member!

Introducing A Dog To A Cat

The cat’s behavior, scent, and skittishness can trigger a dog’s playful nature, or even their prey drive. Desensitization can make the introduction more comfortable for all parties involved.

  • Place the dog’s bedding, toys and food close to the gate.
  • Place the cat’s food and toys opposite the gate, so that both animals can be exposed to one another.
  • If your dog is a puppy, you can distract him with toys or treats when he first sees your cat. This will help the dog associate the cat with pleasure.
  • Repeat the process, gradually increasing the time between you distracting your dog and the pet seeing each other.
  • After a while, your dog will be excited to see the cat.

Introduce A Cat to a Dog

In reverse, the same approach to desensitization works. You can also try moving the dog to a different area, if the cat has entered the territory of the dog. Let’s say, for example, that your dog likes to eat and relax in the pantry.

Set up a gate and move your dog’s stuff out of the pantry. Then, place the items for the new cat in the pantry. This will help to balance out the power dynamics, as dogs are territorial.

5. Have Your New Pet Spayed or Neutered

Most cities and states require that all animals be neutered or spayed. You should check local laws to determine if they apply to you. Also, don’t forget to follow the guidelines set forth by the American Animal Hospital Association.

  • Idealy, cats should be neutered by the time they reach five months.
  • The weight and breed of the dog should be taken into consideration when determining whether to neuter or spay them (45-lb. Breeds of less than six pounds should be neutered within six months. Larger breeds, however, should be spayed or neutered between 9-15 months (or when they have stopped growing).

Microchips and Dog Tags

According to a recent study that looked at more than 50 animal shelters

  • Lost microchipped dogs are returned to their owners in 52.2% cases.
  • Only 21.9% returned non-microchipped pets
  • The return rate for microchipped cats was 38.5%
  • Only 1.8% of cats who were not microchipped returned home.

If you cannot afford to microchip your dog — the cost can range from $10 to $50 depending on where you live — or do not want to, then get pet tags that include your contact information. Check them every six-months to make sure the details are still intact.

6. Adopting a pet: Does a new pet fit your lifestyle?

Pet ownership is more than just cuddling and playing. You should ask yourself if your are prepared for the following tasks that come with pet ownership.

Exercises and Walks

Dogs need several hours of physical activity a day. Cats also benefit from mental stimulation and playtime. Have you got enough time to devote your attention and focus to your new pet?


It’s not just about getting a pet that can perform tricks. This is also an important way to keep your pet safe (for example, teaching your dog not to eat something they shouldn’t, or to have the dog stay by your side in case of oncoming traffic) and helps them to bond with you. Training takes commitment, consistency, and time.

Holistic approaches to pet health: Integrating traditional and alternative veterinary care

Energy Levels

Each breed has its own level of energy. Consider high-energy breeds such as Fox Terriers or Pointers, compared to low-energy ones like the French Bulldog and Bull Mastiff. Consider your own lifestyle, hobbies and activity levels to ensure you choose a pet breed which is compatible with them.

Thank you for considering pet adoption

Each year, millions of animals need your love, attention and devotion. You’ve already demonstrated initiative and commitment by researching all you need to before adopting a new pet.

You and your pet will enjoy many years of happiness now that you understand the basic considerations to make before adopting a new animal from a shelter.

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