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10 Tips For Adoption Success

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Adopting a pet can be a great experience if handled the right way.  For some, though, pet adoption isn’t the right choice.  Before adopting a pet, there are some steps you can take to make the experience a successful one.  The 2014 edition of Ready, Set, Rescue offers these tips for pet adoption success:

  1. Ask yourself why you want a pet.  Make sure you’re looking at pet adoption for the right reasons, not just because everyone else is doing it.  Adoption should be taken very seriously, and not be a spontaneous decision.  Take time to consider before moving forward.
  2. Analyze your lifestyle.  Are you gone most of the day?  Do you lead an active life, or are you more of a couch potato?  Are you out of town often due to work commitments?  These are questions to ask to help determine what type of pet might be right for you.  Failure to do this will lead to frustration for both you and your pet.
  3. Create a wish list.  What qualities in a pet are most important to you?  Low maintenance?  Playful?  Quiet?  List the qualities you’re looking for most in a pet, then compare them to your lifestyle.  It may turn out that the traditional dog or cat choice might not be the best one for you.
  4. Do your research.  Become an expert on the animal you’re considering before adopting. Learn all you can regarding exercise requirements, grooming needs, and potential health issues.  The more you know, the better choice you’ll be able to make when adopting.
  5. Ask questions and request advice when needed.  Talk to the volunteers and staff at the shelter/rescue.  They will know the pets the best and can help match you with a pet that best matches your lifestyle and wish list.  Be open to their advice.  Even though you may go into the shelter/rescue with a particular pet in mind to adopt, another pet could be a better match for you.
  6. Don’t adopt on looks alone.  It’s easy to fall love with a cute face, but don’t let the looks be the sole reason for adopting.  Be willing to work with shelter/rescue volunteers and listen to their recommendations.  Your perfect pet match might look very different than what you envisioned.
  7. Be patient.  Once you make the decision to adopt a pet, be patient.  Many pets enter shelters and rescues every day, and it may take a while to find the right match for you.
  8. Be realistic.  No pet is perfect, and it may take weeks for a pet to get adjusted to a new home.  Be prepared for challenges, and be willing to work with your new pet to help overcome obstacles.  This will be rewarding for you and your new furry companion.
  9. Plan ahead.  As part of the adoption process, some shelters/rescues ask for a alternate caregiver for your pet in the event you are unable to care for them.  Also consider whether to sign up for pet insurance or establish a savings account to cover future pet medical expenses.
  10. Create a list of resources for help later.  Compile a list of professionals to help with ongoing care for your pet.  Include resources such as veterinarian, trainer, groomer, contact at the shelter/rescue.  Don’t hesitate to call upon these resources if questions or problems arise after the adoption.    It’s better to ask for help rather than panic and give up.

Following these suggestions will help make the adoption process a success for you and your new pet companion.

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