Photo: Meet Jacki and Jessi, the last two of a May 2019 litter found in Durres. We’d love for these siblings to be adopted together ideally to a calm, loving home that can help build their confidence and trust. Contact us for details.
So, you’re ready for a furry friend. Congratulations! There are countless benefits to adopting a dog or cat, but asking yourself these important questions will help you make the best, most responsible choice.
Where do you live?
If you’re in an apartment without outside space and want a dog, are you willing to go on extra walks or hire a dog walker? Can you run down the stairs while potty training a puppy? A cat or an older dog may be a better choice!
If you have outside space, is it dog-ready? Is it clean and secure, i.e. there is no way for the dog to escape? Keeping an animal outside all day in extreme temperatures is cruel, so reconsider if you don’t have appropriate space and aren’t able to put in the one-on-one time an animal deserves and needs.
Do you have allergies?
Get everyone in your family tested before you bring an animal home
What is your lifestyle?
Pet adoptions increased during lockdowns, but as life returns to (some type of) normal, many returned animals to shelters. An animal is a commitment, not short-term entertainment. If you work outside of the house, do you have dog walking or doggie daycare services you’re willing to pay for? If you’re working remotely now, what happens when you go back into the office? If you go out every night, a dog may not be your ideal companion.
Cats can be left home alone much easier; kittens, however, need more supervision. If you want a kitten, consider adopting two. A friend keeps the kitten entertained and out of trouble. Many organizations will only adopt kittens in pairs for this very reason.
What happens when you travel?
Do you have a reliable pet sitter? Research airline regulations and passport requirements if you hope to travel with your new pal. And always have a backup plan for an animal who may be too sensitive or scared to fly.
How much sleep do you need?
While a mature dog can hold its bladder for 10-12 hours, that doesn’t mean he should. Generally, puppies can hold for one hour per every month of age (3 months = 3 hours). Are you ready for late-night and early-morning trips to your pup’s favorite pee-pee spots? If not, consider an older dog or cat!
Do you have kids or plan to?
Kids, like pets, take time and energy. Are you able to incorporate an animal into your likely-hectic life? Are your kids realistically able to help in pet duties? Talk to the shelter or organization about your unique circumstances – they can help with matchmaking. If they can’t, arrange several ‘test’ visits to make sure everyone gets along.
Are you willing to animal-proof your home?
Kittens and puppies are curious and get into everything! Are you prepared for accidents as they learn the rules? How will you react if they destroy your favorite pair of shoes? If patience is not your strength, reconsider. Or, look for a more mature animal who may be less inclined to (totally normal) puppy or kitten shenanigans.
What is the plan for when your pet gets sick?
Choose a veterinarian now. Check reviews, ask friends, or discuss with the organization you’re adopting from.
– How far is the veterinarian from your home?
– How does the veterinarian handle emergencies? Do you need to also locate an emergency center with 24-hour service?
– If you don’t have a vehicle, do you have a 24-hour taxi service or reliable friend to get you to an emergency facility?
Do you have a plan if your pet develops behavioral problems or anxieties?
Depending on your animal’s unique genes (certain breeds are more sensitive), personality, and past, you may need to do a little extra work or recruit a trainer to help you create the happiest, healthiest life for your animal. Be financially prepared to do this.
Before adoption, educate yourself. Watch Zak George’s free videos on YouTube or read his book Dog Training Revolution for those seriously considering a dog. Cats.org.uk has a great quick guide on how to prepare for a new kitten or cat companion. Understanding animal behavior is key.
And, remember, you are your animal’s advocate. If you don’t feel good about a trainer or veterinarian, trust your instincts and make a change. Just because someone is an ‘expert’ doesn’t mean they are the right fit for your animal.
If you have any doubts about adopting, consider fostering first. Fostering is a great way for a new pet parent to learn and have support at the same time.
Still ready for the commitment? Contact us ([email protected]) so we can help you find your perfect pet.