If you are thinking about getting a new Pet for your family, or even for just yourself, it’s important to know if having a pet is right for you. Pets have various needs, so it is important to be educated and have vital information prior to beginning the adoption process.

Let’s assume that you want to Adopt a dog or a cat; should you go to the Pet Store? Should you contact a breeder? Many animal advocates are against breeding mills and they are against pet stores due to the overpopulation issue. Many advocates recommend adopting from your local shelter.

Here are some considerations to ponder prior to the adoption process.

Asking the right questions

1. Why do you want a pet?

Some people wants pets to integrate into their families and grow with their children, while on the contrary, some people that are single want a companion pet. In either situation, people may avoid adopting because they want a brand-new pet. When no one adopts pets, they end up passing away or being put down.

There are good breeders that are responsible, caring, and enable their pets to have proper resting time in between litters; but this keeps a perfectly good shelter animal from finding a home and a good family. Try making a list of the pros and cons for why you want a pet and which pet would best suit your situation.

2. Do you have a yard or room for the pet?

Make sure that your landlord has rules that allow you to own a pet. If you feel that you are in a permanent location and that you can keep a pet without rehoming it that may be a good idea. If you lack the financial means to rent or buy a home that has appropriate pet specifics it may be a good idea to reconsider.

If you plan on having a family, keep in mind that most pets live up to 15-20 years; so, get a pet that you know you and your family can keep and grow with.

Possibly volunteer your time at a local shelter to help pets in need until you can adopt a pet yourself. Just like families have care plans for their loved ones, make sure that you have someone to take care of your pet if you go on vacation, or if you move and cannot take the pet, at least they have a home instead of returning to the pound.

3. How are your finances?

So many pet advocates find out that people cannot afford simple upkeep or vet bills. Animals need shots, spaying, and neutering. Then there are teeth cleaning, grooming, possibly surgery, heart worm and flea and tick monthly treatments. It is not fair to get a bunch of animals and then lack the ability to feed and home them. Far too often, animal control reports that people have a dozen pets in filthy and un-livable environments.

4. Will my other pets jive with my new pet?

Do a meet and greet! Most places will let you do this so do not be afraid to take your time and take it slow. Choosing a new addition is not a rapid decision. Sometimes training your pets together and making sure that you are consistent will assist in integrating a new pet.

It is important to ask as many questions as you can and to find out as much information about the pet as you can. Sometimes this information is not as available as we would like it to be, but the more time you take, the more time you will have to decide if the new pet fits into your life.

Finding the right pet

Breeds are very important. Also, consider your lifestyle. Are you a fast-paced business professional that is never home? Are you a farmer with lots of land, or one spouse that stays home all day and has the time? Your dog’s breed should always fit your situation and meet your needs.

If you like small lap dogs please keep in mind that they are very needy, sometimes jealous and also very protective.

They are great to cuddle with but it may be a bad idea to have around children. Sometimes, certain lap dog breeds are afraid of children so be careful to plan for that if you have a family already, or plan to have a family in the future.

If you have a farm and want a breed that is active, you might choose a coon dog or a huskie. Mastiffs also like to stretch their legs. Just do your research and see which breeds are intelligent, like to exercise, and enjoy being active and again, make sure your lifestyle parallels their needs.

If you are looking for a free gift for your child you should not adopt a pet. Making the decision to get a pet should not be made without strong research. If you are not willing to research your pet’s needs and match it with your lifestyle, then you should not adopt a pet.

Volunteer at your local pet advocacy center if your town has one, and always research and get familiar with agencies like the ASPCA. Older pets are great too, there are so many reasons to consider options other than breeders and pet stores. Happy searching!