How to Find a Shelter Pet That Fits Your Lifestyle

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.

Eddie the cat

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!

Why You Should Consider Fostering or Adopting from a Shelter

bottle baby kittens love for one another..Why should I consider fostering?

  • Fostering animals is simply put, you are saving lives. When you become a foster parent, you volunteer your time and energy to keep an animal in your home until they are ready for adoption. Fostering is best done through an animal shelter, or rescue group such as San Antonio Pets Alive! Fostering increases an animal’s chance of being adopted. The foster families are usually the first to find out about the animal’s personality. You as their foster mom or dad, may even be the first to teach your foster pets house manners, making them more appealing to adopters. Fostering is temporary, but is so rewarding as you play an instrumental role in helping us make San Antonio a No Kill city. Fostering also doesn’t require much but your love and the basic necessities.  SAPA! covers the cost of all medical care until the animal is adopted.  Take the time to think about it, and maybe YOU will save another life by fostering.

Why should I consider adopting?

  • Thinking of adding a new pet to your family? Here are some reasons you should consider adopting from an animal shelter.  You will save a life. Sadly around 2.7 million dogs and cats are euthanized each year in the United States simply because people give up on their pets, or fail to spay/neuter. Animal Care Services(ACS) has limited space and after a brief stray-hold, many animals find themselves slated to euthanasia.  Animal shelters are brimming with happy, healthy animals just waiting for someone to take them home. All animals adopted from SAPA! are spay/neutered, up to date on vaccinations, microchipped, given their first dose of flea and heartworm preventative and receive 1 month pet insurance at no additional cost.  If you are looking for a new companion, please consider adopting an animal from SAPA! or ACS. It will save a life, and make room for others to be rescued.

I hope that some of this changes your mind, all volunteers, donations, and help is greatly appreciated, as well as welcomed! 🙂

Mail-in your donation: P.O. Box 830006 San Antonio, TX 78283

© San Antonio Pets Alive!