You don’t have to look very far these days to find someone who owns a pet. In fact, according to research from the APPA, 68% of U.S. households include at least one pet. Research also indicates that pet owners own 90 million dogs and 94 million cats.
Whatever your preference—whether you’re a diehard dog lover or you can’t get enough of cats—there are many benefits to owning a pet. There’s nothing more satisfying than getting home from work and seeing a wagging tail and a smiling face greeting you at the door.
If you and your significant other are thinking about getting a pet, you can’t go wrong with adopting a pet and in fact, there are many benefits to doing so:
You’re Getting a Great Companion
Whatever your pleasure when it comes to pets, there’s a good chance your local shelter is full of healthy and happy pets who would love nothing more than to come home with you. Believe it or not, many animals end up in shelters because of divorce and moves and not through any fault of their own. By adopting a pet, you’re likely getting a great friend who’s already house-trained and should have no problem adjusting to live with the two of you.
You’re Saving a Life
Unfortunately, not every adoptable pet is adopted every year and too many of them are euthanized. By adopting a pet, you’re not only getting a friend, you’re saving a life. By following the right pet adoption tips, you can gain a member of the family, plus you’ll free up space at your local shelter.
It’s Cost Effective
When you adopt a pet, there’s a lot that’s included in the adoption price. That cost can include vaccinations, spaying and neutering and possibly even microchipping. This can be a great way to add a member of the family, especially if you’re on a budget.
It Benefits Your Home
As previously mentioned, many shelter animals are already house-trained and by adopting an older pet, you give them a second chance and an easier time introducing them to members of your family.
They Can Help In More Ways Than One
One of the greatest benefits of a pet is the unconditional love they can give to you and your loved one. But pets can help the both of you in more ways than that. They can help you both emotionally, n and psychologically. By caring for your new pet, you both will gain an increased sense of purpose and will feel fulfilled. As if that wasn’t enough, the two of you can feel proud about adopting a pet and saving a life.
You Get to Be a Light In Your Pet’s World
By following all proper pet adoption tips, you and your significant other will gain a new best friend, who will think the world of you, in good times and in bad.
Prepping For A Pet
If you and your husband or wife have decided now is the perfect time a pet, there’s a lot you need to consider before you actually do the deed. What do you need to care for a pet? Do you both have time to care for a pet? How will a pet adapt to living in your home? What kind of pet should the two of you adopt?
If that sounds like too many questions, don’t worry. It can seem a little overwhelming if you don’t know where to start, but by following the right pet adoption tips, you can easily adopt a pet and have a smooth transition when it comes home.
For the sake of argument, let’s say you and your significant other have decided on adopting a dog.
Get All You Need
One of the most important pet adoption tips you can use is to get all the supplies you need before bring your new canine friend home. Of course, you’ll need all the basics—think a collar, a leash, a water dish, a food dish and even a kennel. But you’re also going to need the right dog food, proper dog treats, toys, grooming supplies and perhaps even a pet gate.
Even if your adopted dog is a senior dog, having a pet gate is a good idea. If one of you is working toward an advanced degree and attends day school, a gate can help your dog out of areas they shouldn’t be in when neither of you is home.
Get Your Home Ready
Another one of the most useful pet adoption tips you can heed is to prepare your home for pet ownership. If you and your significant other are the only two people living in your home, then introducing a dog can be a drastic change.
With that in mind, you need to prepare your home. Similar to how you might baby-proof a home, you now need to dog proof your home. The last thing you want is for your dog, no matter how young or old it is, to get overly curious and start chewing on things you don’t want them chewing on. Small items like jewelry should be picked up and stored properly. If you need to get rid of jewelry, visit a local jeweler or do an Internet search for where to sell jewelry.
Getting your home ready might also include some essential repairs. After all, having water damage, foundation issues, and other home concerns could have a negative effect on your dog. Dogs are often stressed out when they are first adopted, especially if they came from a shelter. They might chew at your couches, scratch at your walls, or look for problem areas in your home that they can wreck even more. A dog might even find that small crack in your foundation and dig at it until it gets even worse.
That’s why you should always rely on contractors to perform an inspection of your home. Foundation contractors, for example, can identify cracks and other issues before your dog has the chance to get to them. At the same time, this can also benefit the efficiency of your home. Make those repairs to keep your dog — and your wallet — safer.
Don’t Forget the Outside
Getting your home ready for a dog also means thinking about the exterior of your home. After all, you’re going to be taking your furry friend on more than a few walks and you need to make sure your property is free of obstacles for your dog to walk safely.
So what do you need do? If you’re got hazardous roots growing out of the big tree in your backyard, call a tree company to come take care of it. Likewise, you might call a tree company if you’ve got a tree down in your backyard that’s cutting into the space your dog has to roam around.
Prepping your property might also include putting up a safety fence. The last thing you want is for your dog to get too curious and wander off, especially if you’ve got your back turned. Thankfully, you can hire the services of a local fence contractor to build the right fence for your needs.
Give Your Pet a Safe Space
There are many pet adoption tips you can use to spruce up your home and make it pet-ready. One tip you need to use to make your pooch comfortable is to give them their own space. Giving them their own safe space will help them adjust to your home and can also be used to help bond with you and your significant other. Even if they just need to rest, they’ll feel more at home with their own space. It can be as simple as a bed and some blankets with a few toys within reach.
Do Some Planning
Much like you would plan home renovations with a home addition contractor before you have work done on your home, you need to do some planning when it comes to dog adoption.
If you’re going to adopt a dog, many folks will tell you one of the most helpful pet adoption tips is to bring your dog home when you have time. If you can, take a few days off of work or plan on bringing your dog home during the weekend. The key is to get your dog accumulated to your home the right way. A great way to do is to have the both of you pick your dog up. That way one of you can drive and the other can comfort your new friend on the drive home.
Let Your Canine Explore
Establishing a safe space for your dog is important, but don’t be afraid to let your four-legged friend explore a little bit. A good way to do this is to keep your dog on a leash and walk around the house. This lets them explore the house and sniff around. You can lead them to their new bed and toys and show them where they are and aren’t allowed to go.
This method of exploring can also be applied to the outside. Take your dog for a spin around the yard and let them get used to where they can go to the bathroom.
Let Your Dog Meet People
When you adopt a dog, of course you’re eventually going to want to introduce it to members of your family. As with a lot of pet adoption tips, the key is finding balance. Even if your dog is friendly, too much interaction with new people can be overwhelming. If you’re having friends and family over, keep your dog on a leash at least until they’ve had a chance to get familiar.
Get To The Vet
When adopting a dog, you’re going to want to visit a veterinarian clinic. The reason is simple: you need to make sure your new friend has all their vaccinations and is healthy. A vet can also offer tips on grooming, feeding and exercise if you’re new to dog ownership.
Don’t Neglect Training
Whether you adopt a young dog or an older dog, one of the best pet adoption tips to have up your sleeve is not to neglect house-training your new friend. You can sign your dog up for local obedience classes or you can help it slowly adjust at home. To get your dog acclimated to your home, show them their bed or crate right away and practicing leaving them in it for short periods. This way your dog gets used to you and your loved one not being home all the time.
Be Careful About Dog Food
Helpful pet adoption tips include gathering essentials and giving a dog attention, but another important one involves eating. Depending on what kind of dog you have and how old it is, your local vet can probably recommend a brand or type of food that’s best for your dog. To get them acclimated to new food, incorporate some of what they’ve been eating at the shelter with the new food and gradually switch over to the new food full time.
Really Think About Your Decision
Getting a pet with your significant other is a big step in a relationship. It’s also a very big commitment. When you adopt a pet, you need to be absolutely sure that both of you are committed to loving and caring for your new friend.
Let’s say for example that the two of you are house hunting. If you’ve applied and been approved for a new home loan, you may find it prudent to wait to adopt a pet until after you’ve moved into your new digs. You may also want to wait until you’ve figured out how the new loan will figure into your expenses. Even if both of you are dog lovers, you may find you don’t quite have the money to afford a dog right now.
The same wait-and-see approach can be applied if you’re going through family issues such as divorce or child custody or guardianship issues. While an experienced family law attorney can help you work through any and all issues you’ve got, you may find it best to get all of your legal affairs in order before you turn your attention to adopting a dog. The last thing you want is to adopt a dog, breakup or get divorced and then have a messy situation on your hands as you figure out who gets ownership.
Of course, you should also think about whether your home is equipped to handle a dog. While fence installers and other contractors can help you make necessary changes, you may find your home isn’t the best place for a dog.
In short: before you adopt a dog, be sure you and your significant other are making the right decision.
Enjoy Your New Friend
While it is a very big decision for couples, adopting a dog can be one of the most rewarding experiences you can share with your significant other. Caring for a pet is a great way for the two of you to experience what it’s like taking care of something, especially if you both wish to be parents someday. By using pet adoption tips, modifying your home and gradually getting them acclimated to you, your home and your family, your new dog can bring you unmeasurable joy and will give you unconditional love like you’ve never seen.
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