Pet adoption counselors at local shelters or foster groups may be available to help you choose a pet that suits your lifestyle. Think carefully about what you and your family want from a pet:
- A quiet companion?
- An active playmate?
- A family friend?
- How much time do I have to spend caring for my pet?
- Do I want an active or passive pet?
- How much of my income can I spend on a pet?
- Why, exactly, do I want a pet?
- How much room do I have availabe?
Every breed of dog and cat has breed specific characteristics and each individual pet is unique. You can use our Breed Selector tool to find out about breeds that will be suitable for your household.
Most organizations screen animals for health and behavior problems. Request vaccination and sterilization information for whatever pet you choose. You should expect to go through a period of adjustment as your pet becomes comfortable with a new home, family, and routine. Ask the shelter staff for advice so you can make this a smooth transition for both the animal and your family. No animal, no matter where it comes from, is problem free or comes with a health and behavior guarantee. If you are prepared to provide your new family member with some time, training and patience, your reward will be a loving companion.