2015-03-30 08.48.10Today, August 15th is National Homeless Animal Day. I thought this would be a great time to post some tips on adopting a furry family member.

Here are some questions to ask yourself before adopting a furry family member.

Why do you want to adopt? Knowing this will help you determine the right furry family member to add to your home.

Are you ready to make a long term commitment?  Adopting a pet is for the life of the pet and that could be a 15 to 20 year commitment.

Can you afford to care for your pet’s health and safety? Having a furry family member will be additional expense. Food, toys, beds, leashes, collars, litter, litter boxes, monthly heart-worm preventive and veterinarian visits are just a few of the things that cost money. Are you prepared if your pet got sick or injured?

Will you be able to spend quality time with your pet? Your new furry family member will need you to give daily time to play and give lots of TLC. If you adopt a dog and you work long hours and you have a hectic schedule you might need to have a mid-day visit or daily dog walk by a professional pet care provider to help you meet your dog’s needs.

Is your living space adequate for an animal companion? You don’t want to get a large dog and live in a small apartment. Does your landlord allow dogs or cats?

Is your family ready for a pet? If you have young children you might want to wait before adopting as small children already demand a lot of your time and they are not helpful in caring for the new pet. Having a dog or cat is like having a baby that never grows up.

Now you have decided that the time is right to adopt your new furry family member there is work to do!

Prepare your home for your new pet by pet proofing the house. Make sure wires are not easily accessible as puppies and kittens and some mature dogs and cats like to chew on wires. Be sure that you don’t have poisonous plants in your home or yard.

Do you have a crate for your dog to stay in until they are out of the puppy phase? If an older dog you can use baby gates to keep them confined to an area until they are proven trustworthy.

Be sure you have plenty of pet “legal” things for your dog to chew on and toys to occupy your cat or dog.

You will need a litter box and litter if you choose a new kitty.                                     2015-06-12 10.20.54

Water bowl and food bowl is a must.

If you choose a kitty you want to have scratching posts, perches or a cat tree.

Dog or cat beds for them to relax in.

Collars and leashes for your dog, collar for your cat and also brush and comb.

Is your yard ready for a dog? Make sure there is no escape places in the fence.

Make your appointment for a veterinarian visit to have your dog or cat checked out.

When it is time to find your new furry family member bring along the whole family! Best wishes on you finding the purrfect new furry animal to join your family.