We know the excitement you feel when you meet a cute, cuddly, ball of fur. It can be hard to say no to sweet a face waiting for a forever home. You may also feel a sense of urgency to take it home immediately upon meeting the animal, either because it just feels right or because you’re afraid someone else will take it if you don’t.
As much as San Antonio Pets Alive! wants every animal to find a loving home, we encourage all pet parents to take their time when selecting their new family member. We know it’s hard to be patient, but going slow and ensuring a good fit is better for you and the animal in the long-term. When pets are adopted hastily and don’t turn out to be what the adopter expects, they are often returned to the shelter. This is confusing for the animal and takes up space we greatly need to save animals from euthanasia.
The adorable cat pictured below, Eddie, was adopted through SAPA!, but he was returned because the owner had an allergic reaction to him. Fortunately, this wonderful couple adopted him at our Petco Ingram location, giving him a third chance at having a happy forever home.
Here are some tips to make sure you find a pet that’s right for your lifestyle:
1) Consider how much time you really have.
As cute as a tiny puppy is, the reality is they need tons of time and attention. And as fun as large dogs are, they need plenty of exercise. Think realistically about how often you are home and how much time and energy you have for a pet. If you don’t have time for a young puppy, consider an adult dog or a cat. When you meet a dog or cat at the shelter you’re interested in, make sure to spend plenty of time playing with it to get a sense of its energy levels. You may want to come back another time to see if their energy level is the same (you may have caught them when they were tired or very excitable the first time).
2) Be realistic about how much space you need.
If you’re looking at cats, do you have a good spot for a littler box? If you’re thinking about a dog, do you have a yard or a nearby area where you can run them out for bathroom breaks? Think about how much room you have and what size animal will be most comfortable in your home.
3) Think about your family.
If you’re married or in a relationship, make sure your partner is on board and has the same expectations about the type of pet you’ll get. If you have kids, make sure they are comfortable with pets and have a chance to meet the pet before you adopt. With small children, be wary of dogs that tend to jump.
4) Consider other important factors
As Eddie’s story shows, knowing whether or not you have pet allergies can be very important! Other things to consider: Are you prepared for pet hair in your house, or if you get a non-shedding dog, regular trips to the groomer? Do you know who will watch your pet when you leave town? Has your landlord approved you getting a pet? Are you ready for the vet bills? Think about all of the other factors that could affect whether you’re ready for a pet and whether this particular animal is right for you.
5) Consider adopting from a foster
Are you very picky about the type of dog or cat you want? You may be better off adopting a pet from a SAPA! foster parent rather than one of our shelter locations. This is because an animal in foster care has been living in a real home anywhere from a few days to a few months. The foster parent can offer great insight into the animal’s personality, energy, and behavior, and this valuable information can ensure a better fit. Most of our foster animals are listed on our website. You can also ask a staff member at one of our locations for information on foster dogs that might be a good fit for you.
Are you considering adopting a dog or cat as a Christmas gift? San Antonio Pets Alive! sells gift certificates that will allow the whole family to select the perfect pet together. Buy yours now at any SAPA! location!