There are thousands of dogs and cats of all ages and breeds in pet shelters and adoption centres in search of a loving home. Sadly, many of these pets come to these organisations (like the SPCA, Tears or African Tales) because they have been abused or neglected. There are a number of things that every soon-to-be pet parent needs to know and consider before adopting a dog or cat!
1. What you need to know before you start the adoption process
Adopting a pet doesn’t mean that you can simply walk into an adoption or rescue centre, choose a dog or cat that you like and then go home. There are certain requirements that potential pet parents have to meet first.
Firstly, you have to have an idea of what type of pet you want and whether it will suit your lifestyle and home. Can your home accommodate a dog? Is there space for him to play and run around? If you travel a lot, who will take care of your pet? Does anyone in the family have pet allergies?
There are many decisions to be made before you decide to adopt a pet and it’s important that you discuss with your family before the adoption process starts.
2. Choosing your pet
Once you’ve made the decision that you’d like to adopt a pet, you can start the adoption process rolling by visiting the animal rescue organisation of your choice – be sure to do your research well! You can visit the kennels or cattery to find a furry companion that is perfect for you. These organisations will have dog and cat breeds, of all ages, even puppies and kittens. People also worry that the dog or cat they may adopt is not healthy. Just so you know, animal rescue organisations will not put unhealthy or sick pets up for adoption.
Chat to the kennel staff about the dog or cat that you are interested in. The kennel staff will be able to offer valuable advice about animal behaviour, temperament and care. Most of the animal rescue organisations also have websites where you can view potential pet candidates online and make a choice. Take your time and don’t rush it. Sometimes you need to visit a few kennels or catteries before you fall in love with “the one”.
3. Vet checks
Animals that are placed at a rescue organisation are all vaccinated to protect them against various diseases, dewormed and sterilised to prevent them having unwanted litters. They are also microchipped or provided with a collar ID so that they can be identified.
4. Pre-Home inspection
Before you can adopt, most animal rescue organisations will come and inspect your property to make sure that your home will accommodate the needs of the dog or cat. Prospective pet owners will also be required to complete a pre-home form as well as pay a small fee.
5. Pet adoption fees
There are fees involved if you want to adopt a pet. Lots of people think that animals at rescue organisations will be given away for free because they need homes. Animal organisations such as SPCA’s adoption fees include a thorough health check, sterilization, first set of inoculations, microchip, collar and ID disk.
Here are the SPCA’s adoption fees in South Africa for example. This will vary from country to country (prices accurate at time of publication of article):
Puppies: R585 (plus R300 refundable deposit)
Kittens: R405 (plus R300 refundable deposit)
6. Taking your new pet home
Be prepared for your adopted pet to behave a bit differently when you bring him home for the first time. Initially you can expect your furry pal to display fearful body language, look for places to hide, be very wary of you and other family members and not have much of an appetite.
Use Feelgood Pets PetCalm to soothe and calm nervous or anxious pets. This homeopathic remedy for anxiety is perfect for dogs or cats that may struggle to acclimatise to a new environment or have experienced trauma in the past.
Building a bond with your new pet may not always go as you would hope it to be. It all starts with a building a relationship of trust and the way you interact your dog or cat. Behavioural problems are common in adopted pets but can be remedied through socialization and training.
Keep your pet healthy! Make sure you feed a well-balanced diet. At Feelgood Pets, we recommend healthy, organic dog and cat food and treats. Remember that exercise is important, especially for dogs and will help the bonding process and facilitate socialisation.
Your pet may be susceptible to certain health conditions and it is your job now as pet owner to take care of his health and well-being. It is important to keep your pooch or kitty’s immune system boosted – rescue pets often have weak immune systems but you can strengthen it with a natural remedy like Immunity & Liver Support. Immunity & Liver Support also acts as a general tonic, supports the liver and helps with quick recovery after illness.
Mostly, shower the new addition to your family with lots of love and affection. Adopting and rescuing a pet is saving an animal’s life and one that will hopefully bring you loads of joy and happiness!
If you have any pet-related questions, please contact us or leave a comment below. We always love hearing from you!