Before You Adopt
Choosing your new pet
We'll be glad to help you find the right pet for your lifestyle and preferences. Some things to think about before you arrive to choose a new pet:
- How much time do you have to play with, exercise and train your new pet?
- How much time will your pet spend home alone?
- What is your (and your neighbor’s) tolerance for barking?
- Does your new pet need to live happily in a busy, active household or with small children or older adults?
- What is your tolerance level for minor destruction, such as chewing, scratching furniture, and/or housetraining accidents?
Your resident pets
All of your pets should have updated vaccinations, including bordatella (kennel cough) for dogs, before bringing a new animal into the home. The ideal timing for vaccinations is from two weeks to six months prior to introducing a new animal.
If you rent your home or answer to a landlord, please verify the pet policies with the owner of the property to ensure that the pet you want to adopt is allowed. If you live with others, ensure everyone is aware that you are adopting a new pet.
Preparing your home for your new pet
You will want to create a secure and safe place (a crate or small room works well) for the newcomer. Discuss who will be responsible for feeding, exercising, playing with and training your new pet. Decide on consistent rules and routines to help your new pet feel safe and reduce potential problems.
Surveying your home from a pet’s point of view
Do you have plants or other objects that could be poisonous or dangerous to your pets? Are trash cans accessible to a curious pet? Even if you have a resident pet that is not tempted by these things, remember that your new pet will be exploring the environment and may have different tastes.
Ensure your yard is escape proof—check for holes in the fence, latches on gates, and items piled near the fence that could give your new pet a boost.