Getting A New Pet Is A Serious Decision

So many pets end up in shelters (or back in shelters) because they were adopted or purchased on a whim. It’s really important to make sure that the pet is right for your family, or that you’re willing to put in the time and effort to make it work before making this commitment.

The other day when I was walking my dog, I was thinking about other shelter dogs including those that I met while volunteering at an animal shelter for a while, and also my friend’s adopted dog.

So many of these pets get relinquished because they are not properly trained when the family brings home a new puppy. They expect it to instinctively develop good behavior as it grows, but instead, it develops unwanted behaviors and its owners take it to a shelter rather than taking time to work on these behaviors.

When bringing home a new pet, whether it was purchased as a puppy or kitten or adopted from a rescue, it’s important to fully consider the commitment. A true pet parent is willing to put in all the time and effort it takes to train and take care of their new pet.

My friend’s dog has many allergy problems (which are unfortunately preexisting to his pet insurance coverage) and she has to spend around $100 a month just for shots/medication plus vet visits. She is a TruHero in my eyes, for devoting everything she can to this dog. And in return, he’s the special man in her life. ;)

The main point of this article is to be prepared for the commitment and be willing to give your pet all of your love for the rest of its life.

Some advice:

  • Spend time with your perspective new pet before bringing it home. Determine whether or not your personalities click.
  • Notice the animal’s behavioral traits. If there is something undesirable, are you willing to put time in to fix it with training?
  • Let the whole family meet the dog. Be sure it gets along with everyone.
  • See if you can participate in a foster program so that you can take the dog home for a few days/weeks before officially adopting.

Does anyone else have any interesting stories about adopted pets and the unexpected things you learned after the fact?

About Stacy @Trupanion

Stacy Kowalchuk is a dog mom to her rescued Whippet-mix, Ellie. During the week, you can find Stacy surfing (the internet, that is) and managing Trupanion's presence in the social media world. In her free time, Stacy likes to bake, especially cupcakes! To balance her culinary affinity, she also likes to stay active, especially with activities that include her dog such as hiking and going to dog parks.

One Response to Getting A New Pet Is A Serious Decision

  1. Alex says:

    I wanted one of those “not easily adoptable” mutts that everyone usually glosses over at the shelter. And that’s what I got. Fortunately I got to “foster” him for two weeks before making my final decision. I knew after about 2 hours he was never going back.

    I knew my “special” boy was timid of strangers, and was willing to work with him on this. What I didn’t know was he was also terrified of skateboarders and allergic to the world… but he’s worth every penny and ounce of patience, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! :)

    After a year of training and socialization, he’s way better with strangers, still pretty frightened of skateboarders (some teenage kid must have tormented him while on a skatebord), and hasn’t itched in over 3 weeks. The best feeling in the world is to see him today go up to a stranger and let them pet him. That’s when I really know it’s all totally worth it.

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