When you adopt a pet, they become part of your family. So – before you make a decision – take everyone’s health, safety and happiness into consideration, not to mention the financial responsibilities of being a pet parent.

Here’s a list of 20 things you should know and consider before adopting a shelter pet.

  1. Can you afford a pet?
  2. Are you ready for a pet?
  3. Every shelter pet is unique.
  4. Your rescue may have triggers.
  5. You may never know their breed.
  6. Pet-proof your home beforehand.
  7. Your rescue may have a health condition.
  8. Your pet will probably need some training.
  9. It may take time to gain your rescue’s trust.
  10. Shelter pets need time to adjust so be patient.
  11. Not all shelter pets have behavioural problems.
  12. Don’t introduce your rescue to everyone at once.
  13. Don’t believe everything you hear about shelter pets.
  14. Your rescue may not get along with certain people or pets.
  15. Get the necessary items for car and other travel if applicable.
  16. You may still have to spay/neuter and/or microchip your new pet.
  17. Shelter pets are often scared at first or for an extended period of time.
  18. Research how to make your new family member as comfortable as possible.
  19. Their health and behaviour are usually assessed before they’re up for adoption.
  20. Even if the bond is instant, you don’t know your pet yet so take the necessary precautions around other people, children and pets.

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