You’ve decided you want a new furry BFF and have made the decision to adopt a pet. Now what?

Adopting a pet is a great way to give an animal a new lease on life and offer it a forever home. However, it’s important to think about all the factors before bringing any animal into your home.

Here are a few essential things to consider before adopting a pet.

cat in cage, adopting a pet

Image source: Thomas Park on Unsplash

Reason for adopting a pet

Yes, your heart may be screaming out for a fur pal to shower with affection, but do you have the time to give it the attention it needs and deserves? After all, caring for a pet is a big commitment.

Not only must you dedicate time to making sure your new family member feels safe and secure in its new home — you also need to train your four-legged friend.

It may be helpful to list the pros and cons of having a pet. If the pros outweigh the cons then that’s a good start!

Fact versus fiction

There are a plethora of falsehoods surrounding rescue pets. Before adopting a pet make sure you know what information is real and what is false.

Indeed, shelter dogs are often misunderstood. It’s frequently assumed they have behavioural difficulties or issues; why else would they be in a shelter? However, this isn’t true of all rescue dogs.

The RSPCA shelter is a great place to find your forever pet. The animals up for adoption are medically and behaviourally sound. What’s more, each animal is matched to the ideal owner to ensure the best outcome.

white and tan dog with nose to camera, adopting a pet

Image source: Agatha on Unsplash

Where will you adopt?

There are many reputable rescue centres and shelters where you can adopt a pet. Most of them will ask you to fill in a pet adoption form so they can look over and assess your details and requirements and ensure they have a suitable pet for you.

Here’s a list of a few organisations where you can adopt a pet:

RSPCA

PetRescue

Dogs Refuge Home (WA)

Animal Welfare League NSW

Adjustment period

It’s rare for an animal to immediately feel at ease in its new home. Whether you have adopted a pet or purchased one through a registered breeder, your new fur pal will need time to settle into its new surrounding.

Just imagine all the weird new sights and sounds it has to take in. Not only are there new people to meet, but your furry friend must also get used to its new routine, rules and boundaries. So be prepared to give your pet ample time to adjust.

pug looking sad, lying on floor

Image source: Matthew Henry on Unsplash

Expenses

Can you actually afford a pet? Aside from the obvious, like the actual cost of the animal and food, there are ongoing expenses like veterinary check-ups, flea, tick and worming treatments, grooming and kennel or cattery fees.

Certainly, the cost to adopt a pet is cheaper than buying from a breeder. Plus, the animal is likely to be neutered and microchipped. Just make sure you’re aware of the continual costs before bringing a pet into your home.

Your lifestyle

It’s super important to consider whether a pet will fit into your lifestyle. If you work particularly long hours, live in a rental property or love jetting off on holidays at the drop of a hat — perhaps you’re not ready for a pet!

However, if you love going on daily walks, spend lots of time at home and feel you have lots of extra love and care to give a little fur pal, then why not look into adopting a pet?

young man training his dog in the park

Image source: Zach Lucero on Unsplash

Training

Can you commit to training your fur pal? Despite the fact that many adoption pets receive training, you’ll still need to train the animal to settle into its new home. We’re talking housetraining as well as behavioural training.

Your new pet will need to be trained to fit into your routine, to adhere to your rules and to respect boundaries. However, training your pet needn’t be dull. Make it fun for both of you with lots of treats and positive reinforcement.

Responsible pet ownership

So, have you got what it takes to be a responsible pet parent? Being a responsible pet owner is essential. This means looking into ID tags, learning and respecting council laws and rules regarding pets, protecting local wildlife and being responsible for your pet in public places.

There’s a lot to learn, but there are also plenty of rewards that come with adopting a pet and becoming a pet owner.

 

Want to know more about adopting a pet? Check out the RSPCA’s guide to adopting a dog.

 

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Leanne Philpott

Leanne is a freelance writer at contentchameleon.com.au. She works alongside her fur pal Chewie (a border terrier) and is passionate about promoting responsible pet ownership.