Adopting a pet can provide years of love and companionship. However, it is also a multi-year commitment. Caring for a pet properly requires time and training along with financial and emotional support. Before adopting a new furry friend, be sure you are ready to embark on the journey.

Consider if you are really ready to adopt.
Adopting a pet is a long-term commitment and shouldn’t be a spur of the moment decision. When you adopt a pet, you are embarking on a 10-20-year responsibility to care for them both physically and emotionally. Even as you transition through different life stages, your animal will remain with you and dependent upon your care.

There are more costs associated with adopting a pet than just the adoption fees. All pets require proper food, medical care and supplies and these costs can add up over time. Time is another important factor that should be considered. Dogs need several hours of exercise and companionship daily to thrive and it is critical that you have the time to devote to being a pet parent. Additionally, be sure that your household can accommodate your new addition to the family.

Find the perfect match.
There are a variety of factors that should be taken into account when selecting a pet. Determine the best pet for you by considering your lifestyle, personality, time availability and space restrictions. Spend time talking with staff at the shelters and researching breeds to help select the best match for you both.

Preparing your home for a furry friend.
Just as you would baby proof your house, it is important to pet proof your space before bringing home a new family member. Remove potentially toxic plants and place other items out of reach. Here are a few more suggestions to pet proof your home.

  • Purchase a several beds for your pet. This will help to keep them comfortable and off the furniture.
  • Use double sided tape or upside-down carpet runners to help discourage scratching.
  • Secure blinds and cords as these can become strangulation hazards.
  • Stock up on chew toys and scratching posts.
  • Install metal screens on doors if you have a cat.
  • Purchase crates to keep your pet confined when you are away until they are trained.

With proper research, patience and love, adopting a pet can bring years of joy and companionship.

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