In last week’s blog I said that, after the loss of a special pet, adopting another is the best way to honor that pet. I still believe that is true HOWEVER choosing a pet is not like shopping for a dress.
I’ve talked with shelter dogs and they say that being chosen and then returned to the shelter because they were “not a good fit” is worse than not being chosen at all.
A pet is going to be the member of your family for, hopefully, a long time. 10 to 15 years. That’s a long time. So, please think about the type of pet that would fit best in your family BEFORE you take one home.
Here are a few tips on how to choose the perfect pet.
1. Look at your family and think about how a new pet will fit in. Every breed has a different personality. Our family has two adults who could live with lots of different dogs. A family with children, especially young children, needs to be more considerate of the age and breed.
2. How much can you spend? We don’t like pet stores very much and they often charge much more than reputable breeders. We like the idea of adopting from a shelter but shelters cost lots to run so they have to charge a fee too. A “free to good home” ad on Craig’s List may seem like a good idea but it may not be a bargain in the long run.
The cost doesn’t stop there. Since you already had a pet, you know taking care of a pet is expensive. There are food and vet bills and training and grooming costs and of course the toys and cookies.
How much can you spend also means time. Certain pets need more attention than others.
3. What is your lifestyle? We have a pretty laid back household with a good yard to play in but we still need to have walks and interact with our humans. Walking together is good exercise for everyone but it’s much more. We get to socialize with other people and animals and make our bond with Mom and Dad stronger.
There is a lot that goes into choosing the right pet. Breed, size, age, and disposition are just the beginning.
Mom found me on Petfinders.com. Sites like Petfinders.com can help you narrow down just what you are looking for in a pet. There are also breed specific sites that can help you find your next best friend.
DixieLee was abandoned and found by one of Mom’s friends. DixieLee, like many abused and abandoned animals, needed lots and lots of TLC. It took a long time to build trust but now she knows she is in a safe and happy home. Mom says it was worth the effort because DixieLee is a special dog.
Not every household could deal with the issues DixieLee brought with her. Many would have brought her to a shelter where she may even had to be died because she was unadoptable. Not because she was a bad dog but because she had the misfortune of having bad people in her life.
I hope you always have a special pet in your life and if you take the time to choose wisely, you will.
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