Deciding which pet to adopt is sometimes hard, especially if there are a lot of choices…everybody is so cute! Here are some tips to help you make the right decision.

Adopt When You’re Ready, Not When You’re Asked

Be careful if someone tries to coax you into adopting a pet.  The foster parent is likely well intended and certainly you want to do the right thing, but let the decision to adopt come from you, not as a suggestion from the outside.

Meet The Pet In a Quiet Setting

Rescue organizations can be very noisy and the pets that live there may suffer from some anxiety, especially if they are new to the facility.  Request some quiet time with any pet that you want to adopt.  When alone with the pet, observe his or her behavior.  Are they willing to come up to you?  Do they remain in a corner cowering.  Shy animals are by no means a bad pet to adopt, but they will require time on your part.  Ask yourself whether you can commit that much time and energy to acclimating your new pet to you, your family, and your home.

Match the Dog With Your Lifestyle

Rescue organizations are very familiar with the exercise requirements for various breeds of dogs.  Honestly share with them the amount of time you’ll have to willingly walk and play with your dog. If your time is restricted, you’ll want to steer clear of high energy requirement dogs like most hunting breeds.  If you are into a more sedate lifestyle, consider a senior pet. Senior dogs are excellent companions, will quickly adapt to their new home, and love you for giving them a chance.

Consider the Other Pets in the House

Hunting breed dogs have a tendency to go after small animals.  Ask the rescue organization if they know of the kinds of pets that the adoptee previously lived with. It is possible to train a dog to accept members of the household like rodents, cats and birds, but it will require patience and training time on your part.   Cats on the other hand will be difficult to break of the natural curiosity that they have for mice, hamsters, birds and all other kinds of captivating, living things.  Again, the organizations that we have listed are all staffed with experienced rescuers who will be able to help you make the right decision.

Should I Adopt a Pit Bull?

Pit Bulls are excellent, loving dogs and it’s terrible that bad pet parenting is responsible for the bad manners of so many. Still, because they come with a bad reputation, people are more likely to be afraid of your dog.  If you adopt a dog like a Pit Bull, Rottweiler, Doberman, German Shepard, or any dog that may have a habit of growling or biting out of fear, you should be prepared to go the extra mile and provide him or her some training to make sure that there are no accidents.

What About a Puppy or Kitten?

Again, it comes down to time.  Puppies are going to require a lot of time for the first 8 months of their lives while you help them understand potty training and manage their boundless energy.   Both puppies and kittens will likely come to you fully vaccinated and spayed or neutered, but if they do not, you should be prepared for that cost which can typically add up to 500-800 dollars total. Lastly, puppies and kittens in homes with very young children, require extra supervision, for both the kids and the pets.  Is this time that you have?

The Mess

Cats don’t need walking, but they do need their litter changed daily.  They will also vomit occasionally and track litter out of their litter box into your home.  Both species will shed on rugs, furniture and bed linens. If you are a neat freak or you are prone to allergies, you should get a pet that has short fur with no undercoat.  It is a fallacy that there are hypoallergenic breeds.  All dogs and cats shed fur, the only difference is how much.  Pets that go outside aren’t great about wiping their feet before they walk in the door.  If you’re not a person that likes mopping, stick to an animal that will be okay about staying inside.