The Fun and Responsibility of Pet Adoption
Adopting a new pet is lots of fun, but it’s also a serious commitment. Consider adoption as a two-way pact between you and your new furry, finny, scaly, or feathered friend – to love, honor, and (hopefully, for at least one of you) obey, ’till death do you part!
Scary? You bet. But the good news is the stronger your commitment going in, the more rewarding the outcome is likely to be for pet adoption.
The Best Deal in the World
When you adopt a shelter or rescue pet, besides saving a life, you’ll get one of the world’s best deals. Adoption fees can range anywhere from $25 to $200, but these fees pay for facilities, food, veterinary care, spaying and neutering, micro-chipping, and all the other costs involved in saving millions of America’s discarded pets. All things considered, adoption fees would be cheap at twice the price!
Adopting a Pet? Use Your Head
Regardless of where you adopt your pet, or what breed you choose, listen to your head before taking that bundle of joy home. Consider:
- What kind of pet will best suit your residence, family, and lifestyle?
- If you decide on a dog, what breed would the best match your family dynamic?
- If you live in an apartment, what kinds of pets are allowed? Is there a deposit?
- Where will your new friend sleep, eat, and use the bathroom?
- Will you really want to exercise a boisterous young dog twice a day, or would a less exuberant or older pet be a better choice?
- Do you have the patience and at-home lifestyle required to raise a puppy or kitten? You can’t leave a baby home alone all day!
- Exotics such as reptiles and insects or arachnids require special cages, heaters, temperature or humidity gauges, and sun lamps, and they often eat very icky foods, like live crickets, worms, and/or baby mice. Far from being easy-care, these pets can quickly become expensive, surprisingly time-consuming, and smelly.
- Some dog and cat breeds shed like crazy; will this particular pet hair match your existing clothes and decor?
- Many birds and some reptiles could outlive you! If your feathered or scaled friend lives for another 60 years and you don’t, you need to plan for his or her care when you’re gone.
Okay, Now Go With Your Heart
Happily, the heart doesn’t always consult the brain, so if you’ve already fallen in love, we understand. To welcome and integrate your new friend, remember to:
- Be sure there’s enough room and time for a new pet in the first place
- Keep all adoption and vaccination records safe, and establish a relationship with your regular vet within the first few weeks of adoption
- If you have other pets, introduce the newcomer gradually so everyone gets used to the idea of a new kid on the block
- If possible, bring your adopted friend’s food, bedding and toys from the foster home; otherwise buy new bedding
- If you want to feed a different kind of food than the shelter or foster home used, transition slowly by adding the new food to the old food over time to avoid dramatic stomach upsets!
The Un-Shelter Shelter
Homes for Pets is a Shertz-area, 100% volunteer-staffed, animal rescue organization that fosters dozens of rescued animals annually. Since all Homes for Pets companion animals are already living in local foster homes, they are healthier, happier, better socialized, and are well known to their keepers. Check the Homes for Pets website first – you may meet your newest family member there!
And don’t be afraid to call us at Shertz Animal Hospital for friendly advice about adopting a pet, or to make an appointment for your new pet’s first “forever home” exam.
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Schertz Animal Hospital
Since 1976, Schertz Animal Hospital has offered the greater San Antonio area outstanding pet care. Our state-of-the-art animal hospital in Schertz, TX compliments our stress-free handling and experienced veterinary staff. Make an appointment online or give us a call at (210) 659-0345 today!