Looking to add another pet to your family? Here are some factors you should consider before heading to the shelter and finding a cat or dog that strikes your fancy:
The nature of your current pet
There's a common conception out there that pets who live solo are lonely. Dogs want a friend to wrestle and cats want another cat to sit and contemplate life with. In reality, not all pets are social creatures - some prefer solitude and others find fellow pets a threat to their territory. Before adopting, make sure you tell a shelter worker about any struggles or problems you've had with your current pet. Detail the different ways they like to play, and their usual level of energy and social interaction.
CJ Bentley, animal behaviorist at the Michigan Humane Society, suggests bringing in your dog. "Most shelters allow or require you bring your dog in to meet any potential doggy candidates," she explains. "This may be a good idea. It is important to make sure the animals get along before you take them home. "
Pets can be pricey. With every pet comes more vaccinations, more check-ups, more food, more pet lodging. If you're worried about having the resources necessary, talk to someone at your shelter. They might know of a local program that can help you out. If you love pets but just can't afford one, you might be able to foster pets waiting for adoption.
What kind of pet you'd like
You may want a pet that's very different from your current one, or you may have kids that are set on having both a cat and a dog. But before making your decision, consider any complications this might bring about. Do you have the extra time it takes to socialize a cat with a dog? When you head to the shelter, ask for pets with calmer natures or previously owned pets that might already be used to cohabitation.
Bringing a new pet into your house is a great way to do something for your local community. The best way to start is by making sure you find the right pet for you - that way we can prevent more pets being brought back to shelters.