Before You Adopt a Cat

If your family is considering a feline pet, keep in mind that kittens can be quite fragile, while adult cats can be very skittish and even afraid of small children if they’ve not been socialized with kids. If you’re interested in an adult, find out as much information as you can about the cat’s history and whether or not it’s been exposed to children. If you’re interested in a young kitten, consider the age of your children and whether they can properly handle a delicate kitten. The same also applies, of course, too young puppies.

Before You Adopt a Dog

Here are some tips to help you select the right pet for your family and lifestyle: 

Do your research FIRST.

Before you actually go looking for a new pet (and see a cute face that you can’t deny!), find out information about different breeds/types for the one that seems most compatible with your family’s lifestyle.  There are a number of books that are helpful, such as “The Perfect Match” by Chris Walkowicz, as well as a great deal of information on the internet. 

  • Things to consider are:  What was the breed was bred for? In other words, what was the dog’s job? This will affect his deposition and give you an idea of how to answer the questions asked under #2. 
  • Don’t choose a pet based on its size or how it looks, as those may be misleading.
    • For example, terriers are a popular group of dogs because most breeds within this group are relatively small. However, because terriers were designed to hunt and kill vermin, they can have a high prey drive and quite a feisty, energetic attitude to go with it!
    • On the other hand, the Mastiff is considered a giant breed, weighing as much as 200 lbs. However, these dogs are generally very gentle, docile and laid back and make excellent family dogs.

Once you have an idea of the breeds or types that are of interest to your family, consider…

  • What are my family’s expectations of a pet?
    • For example, are you wanting a lazy dog that snoozes by the fire OR are you interested in one that can go running with you each morning or hiking with your family on the weekends? They’re probably not the same dog! 
    • It is important to consider your family’s expectations, as well as the pet’s expectations in order to find the pet that’s most compatible to your family’s lifestyle and in order to make a compatible, permanent match.
  • How much mental and physical maintenance would such a pet require?
    • Are you looking for a high, medium or low maintenance pet?

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