Are you thinking of adopting this holiday season? I am all for that if you are adopting for your own family. Taking on the care of another living being is a huge responsibility, and should not be thrust upon someone under the guise of a gift. Giving a pet to your child or mate is a very loving gift. You, as the “gifter” have given a pet that will love the recipient for the rest of their life. You need to be ready to step in if the recipient is unable, or unwilling to care for the pet.
Have you ever heard that dogs are like little kids and cats are like teenagers? Dogs need someone to take care of their needs. They need someone to provide food and water, take them for walks, and to love them. Dogs thrive on companionship. Without it they are miserable. And they really are like little kids. Leave them to their own devices and they will get into mischief. Dogs are always in school with you as their teacher. Cats really do seem much more independent. Cats, like dogs, depend on your for all of their needs: food, water, a clean litter box, and companionship. While cats love companionship, and love to cuddle, they can be aloof.
So where do you go to find a pet? The shelters and rescue groups always have a large assortment of potential pets. Puppies and kittens are cute, and just like human children they need someone there to teach them and help them learn as they grow. They are babies that don’t know what is expected of them so they will need your time and attention to teach them how to behave. Older dogs and cats need homes, too. Older animals can come with their own problems, but many are already housebroken. Some are trained in other ways, and ready to live in a household.
Rescue groups have a good handle on the dog in the foster home. If you go that route you will be matched to a dog with a personality that fits your lifestyle. Some shelters know the personality of the dogs in their care. Some don’t. If you choose to adopt from a shelter be sure to talk to the staff about the behavior of the animals in their care. Take the dog for a walk to see how he reacts with you. Shelter dogs spend a great deal of their time in a run or a cage. I have seen some pretty fancy shelters run by rescue groups. These are more like homes and the caretakers really know their animals. Taking the dog for a walk will help them expend some energy and give you a better feel for their personality.
Books have been written on this subject, and this post just barely scratches the surface. Go to our bookstore links for Amazon or Barnes and Noble and type in “Adopting a Pet.” Hundreds of books will be returned. You may think you don’t need a book. All I ask is that you don’t go into this blind.
The American Humane Association has a good article on what to expect when you adopt a cat or dog. Go here to read the article: http://www.americanhumane.org/animals/adoption-pet-care/is-a-dog-right-for-you.html
If you decide you want to adopt, and need help finding a rescue group I would be happy to help you.
You can email me at : Dave@yourpetspace.info
Dave Jones is an insurance sales desk supervisor by day and a professional magician by night. He lives with his wife Joy in Anderson, Ohio, but grew up on a farm with pigs, chickens and cows as well as dogs and cats. You can follow Dave here on Facebook.