Rescuing for the Holidays
You’ve likely seen many TV commercials or movies where a character is given a kitten or puppy for Christmas. While this may seem like the perfect present, gifting someone a pet is not recommended. Rather than surprising someone with an animal, involve the recipient in the decision-making process so they can make sure they’re ready for the lifetime commitment that comes with adoption. Then you can offer to cover the adoption fee!
So how do you know if you’re ready to adopt a pet? Here are some questions to consider before rescuing your new best friend!
Are you prepared to care for a pet for their whole lifetime?
Cats can live 15-20 years so make sure to consider future plans and if a pet fits into your current and future lifestyle. Animals of all ages are looking for homes, so don’t overlook the older ones!
Do you have the time and energy to devote to a new pet?
Animals require plenty of attention and exercise - yes, even cats need proper exercise! Consider how much time you spend at home or if you are often away for extended periods of time. A potential pet would be bored or lonely without you. They are companion animals after all!
Can you afford to adopt a pet right now?
Aside from food and litter, cats need to routinely see a veterinarian. Dogs may need to be groomed or go to doggie daycare. Adopting a new pet is exciting - you may want to splurge on the shiniest toys and tastiest treats. These bills can add up quickly so make sure you can afford both ongoing and unexpected costs.
Is your home pet-friendly?
Confirm that you’re able to have a pet with any family members, roommates, or landlords and ensure that nobody in the home is allergic to animals. Check that your home will be a safe place for a pet to live. If you’re a plant lover, make sure to remove any plants that are toxic to animals.
Have you done your research?
Nobody’s perfect, animals included. Do some research so you’re not caught off guard. New pets may need training, socialization, or simply some time to adjust to you and their new home. Find a vet and a pet-sitter beforehand in case of emergencies.
Adopting a new pet is a big decision that will change your life and the life of a shelter pet forever. It’s an exciting new chapter that deserves careful consideration. If now isn’t a good time for you to adopt, consider volunteering at a shelter or fostering for a local rescue. There’s less commitment and those cats need plenty of love and care while they wait for their forever homes. If you’re confident you can provide a safe and loving home to an animal, please visit your local shelter or rescue and adopt your next best friend!