Finally thinking about getting that pet you've always wanted, but worried about the consequences of a four-pawed roommate?
The good news is, if you put a lot of thought into your adoption, you're on the way to giving your new dog to a happy home. But before you march into a shelter requesting a certain type of pet, keep in mind that looking for just one breed or type might not be the best route. Instead, ask your shelter worker to help you find a dog with the right temperament and needs for your circumstances.
Here are some other things to consider:
If you have even one roommate, it's important to have a discussion with them before you start thinking seriously about pet adoption. Some people may have allergies, fears or aversions to pets. This might not seem like a big deal, but if someone in the apartment is unhappy with your pet, it could lead to real problems. Assure them that you'll be training, cleaning up after and feeding the pet, and ask them for concerns up front. Try to agree on a type of pet you'll all enjoy petting, playing and lounging around with.
There's nothing worse than having to choose between moving out of your home or finding a new place for your pet to live. That's why you should check with your landlord before adopting a pet to see if there are any restrictions. You'd be surprised by how often landlords are OK with pets, as long as you prove you're responsible. It doesn't hurt to assure the person taking care of your property that you care about their concerns, either.
With an apartment comes less space for pets to bound around in, and more traffic going by your door on a regular basis. Some pets can thrive in smaller environments, and some will get stir crazy. Ask a shelter staffer to help you find a pet that doesn't need a lot of space to roam in, doesn't overreact to the noise of passersby, and isn't known for making excess noise.
If everything checks out, it may just be the right time for you to get a dog or cat to keep you company in your apartment. Happy adopting!