Adopting a Pet

Am I Ready For Adopting a Pet?

adopt a dog
You may not even have considered adopting a pet. its one of the most compassionate things a person can do. We know that pets get a lot from their owners, shelter, food, unconditional love, but recent studies conducted by a plethora of credible sources suggest that humans are getting some health benefits out of the arrangement as well. Pets can reduce loneliness and isolation, give their owners a sense of purpose, lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety, increase productivity and even guard against allergies. Doctors often use animals with Alzheimer's patients because of their calming effect and those who suffer with anxiety have found comfort in being close to pets.

Before you go out and buy the first pooch or feline you see, let me lay some knowledge on you. Did you know that around 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters each year - about 3.3 million dogs and 3.2 million cats. You can adopt one of these dogs or cats and give them a safe new home. Last year about a million and a half of those pets were euthanized - more cats than dogs - but that number is on the decline. Many resources are now available to help with the adoption process - even deciding if adopting a pet from the shelter is the right choice for you. 

Sites to help you in the process of adopting a pet like Petfinder, Adopt a Pet, Get Your Pet, The Shelter Pet Project, ASPCA, Dog the Love, Dog Time, Best Friends Animal Society, DogsBlog, Dogs Best Life, and the Humane Society of the United States are a few good places to start your search. Your local shelter may have online listings or run a weekly column in your local newspaper to adopt a pet. Each shelter will have a different protocol, but generally you can expect to pay a small adoption fee before you can bring your adopted pet home - anywhere from $30 to several hundred dollars.

The adoption fee generally helps to cover some of the cost associated with the medical care, food and transportation costs incurred while an animal waits for adoption. Many shelters get animals ready for potential rehoming with spaying and neutering, veterinary wellness checks, vaccinations, heart worm or feline leukemia tests, flea treatments, de-worming and even often micro chipping and collar/identification tags. The total cost of these services can run as much as $900 and no shelter or rescue organization would even charge an adoption fee that high. Shelters often reduce or waive fees for elderly pets and have special events when you can get a deal. Find out if your local shelter has a Facebook page and follow it to learn about such events.


According to the ASPCA they spent more than $10 million last year rehoming animals. The adoption fees they charge covered just 32 percent of the total. That's why so many shelters and rescue organizations rely on private donations and fundraising to keep their doors open and not just fees from people are adopting a pet.

Another good way to see if a shelter pet is right for you is volunteering at your local shelter. Organizations are often in need of help and would welcome someone offering their assistance. If you are unable to volunteer, shelters can always use donations - financial and of goods to help with their mission. Check their website or give them a call to find out what their current needs are. This will help you surround yourself with people who can help you in the process of adopting a pet


Remember, it may seem tempting adopting a pet from a shelter on a whim or gift an animal to someone you love, but a lot goes into deciding if it's the best choice for you and the animal and making the proper preparations for when your new addition comes home. In fact, giving an animal as a pet is almost never a good idea.

Things to ask yourself before adopting a pet:

Do you now have pets who will have to adjust to a new member of the household?

Is your house/apartment/dwelling suitable for the pet you've chosen?

Is there enough space inside and out?

Do you have a crazy job or active social life that will keep you away from home more than normal?

If you have to travel for work or pleasure, what's your plan?

Have you talked it over with everyone else you live with before you adopt a pet?

Are you - or anyone else in your house - intolerant of pet hair and dirt or allergic to animals?

Does anyone in your house have health issues that need to be considered before introducing a pet?

Have you considered what type of breed or species of animal best fits your lifestyle?

Is there tension in your house? Animals are very sensitive to stress and can pick up on bad vibes very quickly. This can lead to behavior problems and anxiety in your pet.Has someone (of the adult variety) taken ultimate responsibility for the pet's care?

Have you considered all the costs associated with getting a pet, both upfront and ongoing? Can you afford it?

You need to consider all of these points before adopting a pet as it cold have a detrimental effect on them or on you and or other family members.

if you are considering adopting a pet below is a checklist that will help you be more prepared for when you finally bring your new friend home 

Necessary Items for Adopting Cats

  • Pet food (dry or wet)

  • Kitty litter box and kitty litter

  • Plastic carrier

  • Cat toothbrush/toothpaste

  • Brush/comb

  • Cleaning supplies

Learn how to train your on..

Necessary Items for Adopting Dogs


  • Pet food (dry or wet)

  • Carrier/Crate

  • Doggy shampoo and conditioner

  • nail clippers

  • Canine toothbrush/toothpaste

  • Absorbent house-training pads

  • Variety of treats

  • Baby gates

  • Cleaning supplies

Make your own dog treats...find out more

Whether you choose a cat, dog or something altogether different, giving a shelter pet a second chance and a new home is one of the most compassionate decisions you can make. Opening your family and your heart to a new pet is a choice that should never be entered into lightly, but can enrich your existence and offer you a lifetime of loyalty, love and joy - not to mention all the health benefits you'll garner. Good luck on your new adventure as you adopt a pet and visit the ASPCA for tips on pet care and ownership.

Have you ever went through the process of adopting a pet or know someone who has ? please leave a comment below about your experience 

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