5 Things You Didn’t Know About Pet Adoption
Are you really saving that shelter pet—or are they saving you? You already know that adopting a shelter pet is much more favorable than going to a pet store or a breeder. With so many pets in need of loving forever homes, it just makes sense. You feel good when you do it, particularly if you’re kind enough to adopt a senior pet who isn’t as popular as their younger counterparts. However, there’s a lot more to pet adoption than most people know. For starters, did you know that shelter pets may be healthier than those in a pet store or from a breeder?
Here are five facts about pet adoption that will make you want to rush out to the local shelter and start meeting your potential matches. Just be certain you have the time, spaces, and resources to give a pet its forever home first. On the fence? Many shelters have adoption experts who can talk to you about the responsibilities and help you gauge if pet ownership is right for you and which type of pet is the best.
1. Many shelter pets are healthier than store-bought pets, and all have recently been treated by a veterinarian.
Many shelter pets are only available for adoption after they’ve been cleared by a vet and sometimes after undergoing a training series. You’ll know the full, correct current health condition of your adopted friend complete with medical records. Breeders and pet stores may not follow the best protocols for pet care, and you may not be certain the current state of your pet—or its genetic markers for diseases. (The same is true of shelter pets when it comes to genetic markers, but that’s because those reports don’t exist—not because they’re being withheld). In some cases, pet stores are notorious for poor pet hygiene.
2. You might get a number of “freebies” when adopting at a shelter that you won’t get with a breeder.
It all depends on the shelter, but it’s common to be given a certain number of free check-ups as well as training courses or complimentary neutering/spaying. While cost and bonuses shouldn’t be at the core of your adoption process, it is certainly a perk to consider.
3. Older pets are calmer and better trained.
Many people avoid senior pets because they want the cuteness of a younger pet or the experience of being with them for life. However, senior pets are untapped gems. Many of them are already well-trained and you won’t need to deal with potty-training or the hyperactivity of a younger pet. Senior pets are more laid back, relaxed, and are often better matches for people who don’t have the energy or time to be a full-time playmate.
4. Shelter pets may already be perfect therapy partners.
Are you looking for a dog or other type of animal to provide emotional and mental support? In many cases, an older shelter pet is better equipped for this important position. They may have been around many types of people and other pets, have already adapted to stressful situations, and are eagerly looking for “their person” to support and love unconditionally. Their experience is what makes them natural therapy partners.
5. You can find special breeds and unusual characteristics while doing good.
Maybe you’ve been dreaming about having a ragdoll cat or French bulldog your entire life, and you think you’ll never find the breed as a rescue. That’s not true. Many shelters regularly get rare breeds, and you may even be able to sign up for a waiting list to get notified first. Some people prefer certain “traits,” such as a de-clawed cat, but would never have the procedure done themselves. (Declawing is considered cruel in many states and countries, and is often illegal. However, it’s still performed in some parts of the country. It is possible to find a declawed cat as a rescue and enjoy the benefits of no scratches without harming an animal yourself). However, keep in mind that the pet you fall in love with might not look anything like what you have in your mind. Visiting shelters and interacting with the various animals is the best way to match your needs to that of a potential pet. Keep your mind open.
Adopting a pet is a huge responsibility, however, there is usually a type of pet out there for everyone. Dogs require a lot of time and attention, whereas a snake is a great choice for those looking for a little less responsibility. All animals can be expensive, and it’s important to plan for regular veterinarian visits and emergencies. However, when you adopt from a shelter, you’re saving money while doing some good in the world.