Pet Adoption 101

As many of us know, pets are so much more than just animals. Pets are our fur babies. So when you’re adopting a new furry family member, you must understand exactly what you’re getting into. Let’s discuss!

…Are You Ready for It?

Pets are a commitment. Depending on their age when you adopt, you’re looking at 10-15 years with your best furry friend. Before you adopt, consider the next few years of your life and whether you plan on moving, expanding your family, changing jobs, etc., because your pet will be with you through it all. You want to ensure you have the time to commit to them and the care they need and deserve.

The Right One

Whether you’re considering a dog or a cat, do your research and find the right fur baby for you. Shelters often allow meet-and-greets with animals to help you find the right pet. Some organizations host special events for the public to meet shelter animals. This is also the time to research the breed you’re considering and whether they are the right match for your family. For instance, if you are active, you’ll want an active dog that loves walking or running with you.

Trading Spaces

Before you bring home your new family member, carve out a space just for them. If you’re bringing home a dog, set up a crate or bed, and make sure they have blankets, pillows, and toys. Cats will need an area with their litter box, fresh litter, food, and water. Either way, designate a space for them.

Pet-Proof It

This is only temporary, but when adopting a pet, you need to ensure anything that could be tempting to chew up or get into is put away until they get used to their surroundings. You also want to ensure that all cleaning supplies, toxic materials, small items that are choking hazards, and non-pet-friendly plants are out of reach.

Find a Local Vet

You’ll need to schedule your pet’s first vet visit soon after adoption. The shelter should hand over their medical records and inform you of any health issues. While choosing a vet is a personal experience, it never hurts to ask friends and family who they recommend.

Practice Patience

Both you and your pet are going through a lot, so be prepared to embrace all the mistakes you’ll make in your first days and weeks together. But have no fear: You’ll find a routine together. Soon, you may wonder how you ever lived without them.

The Notorious 3-3-3 Rule

If you’re adopting a dog, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the 3-3-3 rule, which represents common milestones an adopted dog will go through:

  • Three days of feeling overwhelmed and nervous
  • Three weeks of settling in
  • Three months of building trust and bonding with you

During the first three days, your new fur baby is making sure their new home is safe, so don’t be alarmed if they don’t want to eat much or have an accident or two. At the three-week mark, your dog should be familiar and comfortable with their routine, such as potty breaks, when to eat, and where to sleep. After three months, life should be good. Your dog will understand what life is like and give you all the love and affection you deserve!

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